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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 has said it is important to solve the Cyprus problem in order to overcome problems like Turkeys accession negotiations, or EU-NATO relations.

    Merkel was speaking to journalists, after her meeting with the President of the Republic Demetris Christofias.

    Asked to comment whether Cyprus occupation by Turkey is compatible with the countrys EU accession, Merkel, speaking trough an interpreter, said that we are aware of the existing difficulties and this is the reason why we placed so many restrictions in the accession negotiations.

    As long as Turkey is not implementing the Ankara Protocol, no negotiating chapters can be closed or have been closed. Moreover, there are eight chapters that can not even open she said.

    Merkel also added that emotionally, she is aware of what a countrys division means, but said that she doubted the German reunification model could be implemented in Cyprus, due to the many existing differences. She said, however, that the German experience could prove valuable, once negotiations mature.

    Asked on the efforts to exploit natural gas resources, President Christofias said that Cyprus is an independent and sovereign stare, and a member of the UN and the EU.

    It is Cyprus sovereign right, he added, to conduct, according to the 1982 UN Law of the Sea Convention, research on natural gas within its Exclusive Economic Zone, which it has demarcated together with its neighboring countries.

    He also noted that Turkey cannot hold Cyprus as a hostage, preventing the country from benefiting from its natural resources.

    The President said that Turkey is harassing Cypriot research efforts, sending planes and warships in the area, while it asks for the EU negotiation chapter on energy to open.

    Turkey has to terminate the war games if it wants to be regarded as a modern state and enter into the EU family, he added.

    The German Chancellor said that in order to solve EU-NATO relations, the Cyprus issue must be resolved.

    She also said that negotiations need to proceed for the sake of Cyprus reunification, and expressed her gratitude to President Christofias for helping to draft a strategic plan of cooperation between the EUs Common Foreign and Security Policy and NATO.

    The solution of the Cyprus problem is not only to the interest of Cyprus, but also to the interest of Germany, the EU, the UN and NATO she said.

    President Christofias thanked at this point the Chancellor, for supporting his proposal during the last European Council in December, to base EU and NATO relations on UN resolutions and principles.

    Speaking on Eurozone developments and Portugals efforts, Merkel said that the country has undertaken significant measures but their implementation needs time.

    President Christofias added that the crisis many countries like Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland are facing is a threat to all and said that the EU is developing the mechanisms to tackle financial instability, especially for its Eurozone members.

    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.

    Turkey refuses to open its ports and airspace to Cypriot vessels and aircraft, contrary to its obligations, as defined in the Additional Protocol, extending the Ankara Protocol to all new Member States, including the Republic of Cyprus. As a result, in December 2006, the European Council suspended the negotiation of eight chapters, until Turkey complies with its obligations.


    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has shown emotive and vivid interest for the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking to the press, following a meeting with the German Chancellor in Nicosia, President Christofias said that the Cyprus government very much believes that Germanys support will be based on principles.

    He reaffirmed Greek Cypriot sides willingness for a solution, provided that it will respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus and human rights and freedoms of all its people.

    In his opening remarks, President thanked Merkel for her interest and feelings of friendship towards the Cypriot state and its leadership, adding that it is with feelings of deep appreciation and friendship that we welcome Chancellor Merkel to Cyprus.


    A final decision by the European Commission regarding the Direct Trade regulation will be taken in pace with the European Parliaments final decision on the subject, EC President Jose Manuel Barrroso notes.

    Responding to a question posed by Cypriot MEP Eleni Theocharous, Barroso says he takes note of the European Parliaments Legal Affairs Committee decision.

    It should be noted that the aforementioned decision is based on the European Parliament Legal Service opinion and supports that the regulations legal base, article 307 (2), is incorrect, since it regards the occupied territories of Cyprus a third country, under accession to the EU. The EP decision stipulates, however, that, according to Protocol 10, the Republic of Cyprus has entered the EU in its entirety, with the EU acquis suspended in the northern part of the island, due to the prevailing condition, i.e. Turkeys occupation.


    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu will meet Wednesday in the framework of the ongoing UN led negotiations with an aim to find a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

    The two leaders met last on December 15th since Eroglu underwent heart surgery on December 19th.

    Presidential Commissioner George Iacovou and advisor to the Turkish Cypriot leader Kudret Ozersai have been meeting regularly on a weekly basis.

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