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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-03-13

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The government and people of the Republic of Cyprus express their deepest sorrow to the government and people of Japan over the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that struck north-east Japan Friday.

    In a written statement while in Hungary attending the Informal Meeting of EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Cyprus Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou conveys condolences for the victims of this tragedy.

    He says ``the government and people of the Republic of Cyprus express their deepest sorrow to the Government and people of Japan following the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that struck north-east Japan yesterday. In particular, I wish to convey sincerest condolences to the families and loved ones of those who have perished.``

    Kyprianou adds "our thoughts are also very much with all who are anxiously awaiting news of family and friends still unaccounted for.``

    The Cypriot minister says the scale and magnitude of the tragedy, both in human loss of life and suffering, as well as in material destruction has shocked the entire world.

    ``At this time of national crisis and personal mourning, the government and people of the Republic of Cyprus express their solidarity and support to the government and people of Japan.``

    Japan faces a growing humanitarian crisis on a scale not seen since World War Two after its devastating earthquake and tsunami left millions of people without water, electricity, homes or heat.

    As officials on Sunday predicted the death toll could top 10,000, the country mobilised 100,000 soldiers to deliver food, water and fuel, and pull stranded survivors from buildings and damaged homes. More than 450,000 people had been evacuated.


    The President of the Republic Demetris Christofias departs on Sunday for an official visit to Israel, where he will have contacts with state officials and attend a business forum, while he will also hold with the Palestinian National Authority in Ramallah.

    According to an official announcement, during the visit, which will last until Tuesday, March 15, the President will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Markos Kyprianou, the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Antonis Paschalides, the Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou and other officials.

    President Christofias will have separate meetings with Israeli President Simon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as with Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem. In Tel Aviv, the President will address a business forum, to be attended by both Cypriot and Israeli entrepreneurs.

    President Christofias will also pay a one-day official visit to the Palestinian National Authority in Ramallah, where he will meet with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas and lay a wreath at the Mausoleum of Yasser Arafat.


    A member of the Famagusta Refugee Movement, Loizos Afxentiou has been brought Sunday morning before an illegal military court in occupied Nicosia, after being arrested Saturday in the fenced-off city of Famagusta, by the occupation forces, along with a group of MEPs, civilians and two clergymen.

    Afxentiou will stand trial by a so-called court tomorrow and is not allowed to exit the occupied territories. Former MEP Yiannakis Matsis remains in Famagusta Hospital and is expected to be court-martialed tomorrow.

    The incident happened on Saturday morning, when four MEPs accompanied by a group of people went to Varosha in occupied Famagusta, to inspect the damage of cultural heritage in the occupied territories of Cyprus. Occupation forces released late yesterday afternoon Cypriot MEP Eleni Theocharous, Polish MEPs Jaroslaw Walesa and Artur Zasada, Bulgarian MEP Mariya Nedelcheva, the Bishop of Neapolis Porfyrios, the assistant of Walesa, a priest and one more civilian, withholding Matsis and Afxentiou.

    Presidential Commissioner Giorgos Iacovou, while speaking to CNA, said that the Turkish side was handling the case, by employing its well-known practice, while trying to illegally display that it poses state authority.

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