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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-03-14

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The recent agreement between Cyprus and Israel on delimiting the Exclusive Economic Zones of both countries has been an important development which will lead to further cooperation in the field of energy, Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has pointed out.

    In statements at a press conference following his meeting on Monday with the President of Israel Shimon Peres, in Jerusalem, President Christofias thanked his counterpart for his invitation to visit Israel. I am looking forward to having a useful and constructive visit, which will further deepen our multifaceted relations and will open new avenues of mutually beneficial co-operation between our countries and peoples, he said.

    President Christofias noted that Cyprus established diplomatic relations with Israel immediately following the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus in August 1960, adding that since then, our relations have developed steadily with considerable improvement on all levels.

    Our meeting today gave us the opportunity to review bilateral relations. These relations have seen a considerable qualitative and quantitative improvement, especially over the past three years. This is testified with the seven intergovernmental Agreements and Memoranda that have been signed during this period, with more to come during this visit, he said, noting that our recent agreement on delimiting our respective Exclusive Economic Zones has been an important development which, I believe, will lead to further co-operation in the field of energy.

    The President said that he briefed President Peres on the efforts to reunify Cyprus and on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem. I underlined that our aim is the achievement of a just, viable and functional solution that would reunify the state, the people, the institutions and the economy on the basis of the principles of international law and in the context of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality, as described by the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, he stressed.

    Christofias also said that he had expressed his readiness to pursue all avenues that will lead to the reunification of Cyprus and to a solution that will result in one state, with one indivisible sovereignty, one international personality and one citizenship. A state, he continued, where human rights will be fully respected and its legal citizens will prosper.

    Furthermore, he stated that they discussed the situation in the Middle East Peace Process. It is our sincere hope that obstacles will be overcome and the peace process will be revived so that the efforts for a comprehensive solution will bear fruit. A solution that will bring about peace, stability and prosperity not only for the Israelis and the Palestinians but for the whole region and its peoples, he pointed out.

    President Christofias said that Cyprus, as a neighboring state which maintains good relations with all parties involved, and as a member of the European Union, fully supports the efforts of the Quartet for a solution on the basis of UN resolutions and the respect of the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the states of the region, including the State of Israel. I express our readiness to contribute in every way we can, in order to support the efforts for peace, he said.

    In addition, he expressed the belief that a solution to the Palestinian issue can be achieved by peaceful means and will lead to the creation of an independent Palestinian state living side by side with the State of Israel. The State of Israel and a Palestinian state can and must coexist and live as neighbors peacefully, securely and under conditions of mutual respect, he pointed out.

    During the meeting, Christofias said they have discussed the developments of the past few months in our region and for which they have expressed their serious concern. We agreed, he said, that we will continue to monitor these developments in the hope that soon the situation will be normalized and that democratic procedures will prevail.

    Finally, Christofias wished the People of Israel a future of peace, a future of prosperity and social progress and to President Peres, health and the strength to succeed in his challenging task.

    President Peres, in his statements, said that President Christofias visit constitutes an historical event in the relations between Cyprus and Israel, noting that nothing separates the two countries. He thanked President Christofias for the help that Cyprus offered to the Jewish people, during the time they spent on the island (at the time a British colony) after the Holocaust.

    In addition, Peres thanked President Christofias for his personal interest and the help that Cyprus offered to Israel during the Carmel Mountain fires.

    Peres stressed the cooperation between Cyprus and Israel on medicinal and agricultural sectors, adding that new opportunities for cooperation have opened. He added that the two countries geographically and politically close to each other, noting that Israel and Cyprus could develop the natural wealth in the region, such as natural gas. Peres called on the two countries to cooperate in the fields of science and technology. We do not cooperate against anyone. We cooperate against the exposure of people to several dangers, he added.

    President Peres pointed out that he had a good meeting with President Christofias, and said that each country faces problems. He stressed that Israel is in favour of a united island for the prosperity of the people of Cyprus. You have been forced to a situation that you wish to be ended, he said. Finally, Peres said that President Christofias visit to Israel constitutes the beginning of a new and important relation between the two countries.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu are currently engaged in UN-led negotiations with an aim to reunify the island under a federal roof.


    Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic Richard Sulik has described as ``a bad and dangerous precedent`` the fact that the EU allows part of a member state to be under occupation.

    Sulik was speaking at a joint press conference with President of the House of Representatives Marios Garoyian, who is on an official visit to Bratislava.

    Garoyian called for pressure to be exerted on Turkey so that Ankara accepts a solution of the Cyprus problem, based on UN resolutions and the principles and values of the EU.

    Sulik and Garoyian discussed the Cyprus problem, the relations between Cyprus and Turkey, cooperation within the EU, and bilateral relations


    The European Commission Air transport has requested Cyprus to adopt a national civil aviation security programme and if the authorities fail to comply with EU law within the next two months, the Commission could bring the case to the EU Court of Justice.

    A press release of the Commission noted the EC on Monday requested Cyprus to adopt the updated version of its national civil aviation security programme which has remained unchanged since 2004 despite new changes introduced by European Union legislation.

    According to the press release, the Commission is concerned that Cyprus has not yet adopted an up-to-date national civil aviation security programme that adequately defines the measures required by airports, airlines and other entities involved in aviation security.

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