|Monday, 17 February 2020|
Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-10-11
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 CYPRIOT PRESIDENT EP PRESIDENT MEETINGPresident of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek has said that UN Security Council resolutions are the basis for a solution of the Cyprus problem, and pointed out that any reference that he sought to legalise any illegality concerning direct trade between the EU and Cyprus northern Turkish occupied areas was a complete misunderstanding.
Speaking in Nicosia after a meeting on Monday with President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias, Buzek said that there was no decision yet on the issue of direct trade with the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, and expressed hope that a reunited Cyprus would exercise the EU rotating Presidency in the second half of 2012.
President Christofias noted that he briefed Buzek on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and thanked him for his full support to efforts to achieve a solution providing for a bizonal bicommunal federation.
On the issue of direct trade, President Christofias said he was not in dispute with Buzek, and expressed hope that the European Parliament, at the end of the day, would observe the position of the EU for one Cyprus, with a single sovereignty, a single international identity and a single citizenship.
President Christofias said they exchanged views on a series of issues concerning the EU, as well as the Cyprus problem, and that he briefed Buzek on the course of direct negotiations for a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem.
``I presented in detail the well known three-tier proposals we have submitted for the substantial promotion of the process, and explained how the proposals of the Greek Cypriot side aspire to accelerate the process for a solution of the Cyprus problem, creating conditions that will be beneficial for all involved parties,`` he said.
He added that he emphasised that ``the solution of the Cyprus problem, on the basis of international and European law, is a goal from which we Cypriots and our European partners have no right to deviate.``
President Christofias thanked Buzek ``for the full support he lends to efforts for a solution of a bizonal bicommunal federation with political equality, as described in relevant UN Security Council resolutions, for a single state with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single international identity.``
He noted that Buzek ``fully agreed with the position of principle that, in order for a solution to be viable, it must secure the fundamental human rights of all Cypriots and allow Cyprus to function effectively and creatively as an EU member state.``
``I also had the opportunity to exchange views with President Buzek on current regional and international issues concerning the EU. I assured the President of the European Parliament of our government`s appreciation for the noticeably upgraded role the European Parliament plays in the post-Lisbon period, expressing my pleasure for the fact that it now has a decisive say in the whole decision making system on a European level,`` he said.
He added that ``we also had the opportunity to discuss the contribution of our country to European affairs`` and that he also expressed ``Cyprus` dedication to the promotion of the joint aim for the further political and economic integration of the EU.`` ``Cyprus, as a member state, contributes constructively to the promotion of the principles on which the EU is established, such as the principles of democracy and rule of law, and also for expanding the European social model,`` President Christofias said.
He added that ``especially today when we are bearing the consequences of the global financial crisis, it is my conviction that the EU must actively implement policies to combat poverty and social exclusion, and promote the expansion of the welfare state.``
Buzek said the main message with which he arrived was ``encouragement, solidarity, support and trust in both leaders to reach a comprehensive solution, which is important, not only for Cyprus and for the region, but also for the whole EU, as you are, your island, in the crucial strategic position for all of us.``
He also said that Cyprus` EU Presidency is only 21 months away and pointed out that ``a united Cyprus keeping the Presidency of the EU is our dream.``
``It would be supportive to Cyprus, it would be supportive for the EU and the whole region and I agree with you Mr. President that the UN Security Council resolutions is a ground for the future of Cyprus, and we agree in the European Parliament with this standpoint,`` he added.
He also expressed certainty that ``a mutually satisfactory agreement is possible, the sooner the better.``
``Of course, it needs a great vision and pragmatic acts and I know from my own experience that it is not easy, but the most important is the constant negotiations, and to keep contact is also our task, the EU task and goal, to support such contacts if it is be possible, because it is really a common aim, the reunification of Cyprus,`` he said.
He pointed out that ``it is very important, of course, at the end of negotiations, after agreement and reunification, that everybody feels something like ownership of the agreement and settlement, and for the whole EU it is very important, for the European Parliament, because you are our ambassador in this part of the Mediterranean, the whole of Cyprus, in such a crucial place.``
Replying to questions regarding the proposed regulation for direct trade with the areas of Cyprus under Turkish occupation, Buzek said that he did not wish to elaborate because ``there must be a discussion on this issue by the whole Parliament.``
``It is a very important issue, very sensitive, and we know about that. Our Legal Affairs Committee, our rapporteurs, are working on it. It is just on the table. First discussions have started. So it is necessary to wait a few weeks or few months to have a final result,`` he added.
Asked, on the issue of direct trade, why he wished to legalise something illegal, Buzek said this was a complete misunderstanding. ``I am very sorry. It is completely a misunderstanding,`` he said.
``I did not say anything about legalising. I did not say any opinion on it because we are waiting the decision of the whole European Parliament and I am talking and discussing on behalf of the whole Parliament and I do not know the answer yet. It will take a few weeks, two or three months, to have answers. It is a very sensitive, very difficult question and we know how important it is,`` he added.
At this point, President Christofias said he explained the position of the Republic of Cyprus ``very clearly`` in a ``very friendly atmosphere.``
``We are not in a dispute with President Buzek. I wish and hope that the European Parliament, at the end of the day, will follow the position of the EU for one Cyprus, with a single sovereignty, a single international identity and a single citizenship,`` he added.
Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. President Christofias, who is engaged in peace talks with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community to reunite the country, has put forward three proposals to accelerate the pace of the talks (on the return of the occupied town of Varosha, on linking various chapters in the negotiations and on convening an international conference). The Turkish side turned down the proposals.
Talks continue on Wednesday with a meeting between the President and Dervis Eroglu.
 SLOVENIAN PRESIDENT CYPRUS OFFICIAL VISITPresident of the Republic of Slovenia Dr. Danilo Turk arrives in Cyprus on Tuesday for a two-day official visit, during which he will sign with President of the Republic Demetris Christofias a Convention on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income.
According to the programme of his visit, on Tuesday Dr Turk, his spouse and members of the Slovenian delegation will arrive before midday, at Larnaca International Airport on a private flight. They will be welcomed by Minister of Finance Charilaos Stavrakis.
In the afternoon, President Turk and the Slovenian official delegation will head to the Presidential Palace for a meeting with President Christofias. Following an official welcoming ceremony where the two Presidents will inspect the Guard of Honour, the Slovenian President will lay a wreath at the statue of the late President of the Republic Archbishop Makarios III. President Christofias will hold a tete-a-tete meeting with President Turk which will be followed by official talks and the Signing of the Visitors Book by the Slovenian President.
The two Presidents will sign the Convention between the Republic of Cyprus and the Republic of Slovenia for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income. Statements to the press will follow.
 US OFFICIAL CYPRUS TALKSThe US strongly believe that the Cyprus talks need to be a Cypriot led process that will lead to the reunification of the island under a bizonal, bicommunal federation.
This was stated Monday by US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Tina Kaidanow, who was received in the morning by President of the Republic Demetris Christofias.
In her statements after the meeting, Kaidanow assured that the US would invest their energy and would help the two sides in Cyprus reach a solution that will reunify the island.
I said again what we have said many times, which is that we believe very strongly that this needs to be a Cypriot - led process and that this process should end we hope in the reunification of the island under a bizonal, bicommunal federation, she said. Kaidanow added we will invest as much energy and help as the sides need in order to get to that goal.
 NICOSIA FIRST MARATHONThe Municipality of Nicosia organized on Sunday its first Marathon in the streets of the capital.
A press release issued by the Municipality notes that participation exceeded all expectations, reaching 5,000, ranging from Marathon runners to children.
The event featured a 42-kilometre Marathon, 21-kilometre half-marathon, the 4,6km road race, a 1000m charity run and a 1000m road race for primary school students.
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