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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-01-11

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived today in Cyprus for a short working visit, the first by a German Chancellor to the Republic of Cyprus.

    Chancellor Merkel and her entourage arrived at the Larnaka airport from Malta, where the German Chancellor had paid a working visit.

    Angela Merkel was welcomed at the airport by Minister of Foreign Affairs Markos Kyprianou and Ambassador of Germany in Nicosia Siegfried Zeitz.

    Shortly after her arrival, Merkel and her entourage headed for the Presidential Palace where she will hold a tete a tete meeting with President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias.

    During her visit, Merkel will discuss with President Christofias recent developments in the Cyprus issue as well as other European and regional issues. Merkel is expected to discuss problems in NATO EU cooperation, caused primarily by Turkey which does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus.

    The German Chancellor will sign the book of guests at the Presidential Palace and at 13.30 (1130 GMT) Christofias and Merkel will talk to the press.

    A working lunch will follow at the Presidential Palace, and later on Merkel will visit the Goethe Centre, in Nicosia.

    A meeting with the Special Representative of UN Secretary General in Cyprus Lisa Buttenheim will follow at the Ledra Palace hotel, located in the UN-controlled buffer zone which separates the northern Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus from the southern government controlled part of the country.

    Later on the German Chancellor will meet the President of the main opposition party, the Democratic Rally, Nikos Anastasiades.

    Angela Merkel and her entourage are expected to depart in the afternoon.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-led peace talks are currently underway between President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglou, in an effort to find a negotiated settlement that will unite the country under a federal roof.


    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has said that the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Cyprus on Tuesday is very important.

    He noted that the special importance of Germany`s role in Europe and in general is well known, adding that Merkel`s visit to Cyprus is very important because it underlines the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus and the fact that a big and powerful country as Germany looks forward at further developing its relations with the Republic of Cyprus.

    ``This is also our position and will and that is what the President of the Republic pursued through the invitation he extended to Mrs. Merkel to visit Cyprus,`` he noted expressing the belief that the visit will be beneficial for the further enhancement of the relations between the two countries.

    Replying to another question, Stephanou said that ``we have very close relations on financial level with Germany and these are issues discussed with Germany to enhance further our relations.``

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