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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-03-18

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The British government has not yet taken any decision to make use of the British Base of Akrotiri in Cyprus southern coast to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, according to Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou.

    Stephanou, who was commenting on relevant press reports, also stated that the Cypriot and British governments are constantly in touch over the issue.

    At the same time he indicated that there is no reason for concern over the possibility Gaddafi`s forces will launch missiles against the British Bases in Cyprus.

    I would like to underline that there is no decision taken by the UK regarding the use of Akrotiri Base with regard to imposing a no-fly zone over Libya Stephanou said during a press conference at the Presidential Palace.

    Replying to a question, he reiterated that the Cypriot and UK governments are constantly in touch for this issue and pointed out that both the 1960 Treaty of Establishment of the Republic of Cyprus, which provides for the status of the British Bases on the island, and the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two countries in 2008, provide the necessary framework so that there will be mutual cooperation and exchange of information with no surprises.

    Commenting on reports over the possibility Gaddafis regime to attack the British Bases, Stephanou noted that the Government looked into this possibility through contacts and that there is nothing for the time being.

    There is nothing over this issue and I would not like to say more in order not to create the impression that we are a target he added.

    The Spokesman also expressed the Governments position regarding UN Security Councils resolution, that the international community should act on the basis of the resolution, always within the framework of international law and taking all the facts into consideration.

    Britain, a former colonial power, has retained two military bases in Cyprus when it granted the country its independence in 1960.


    Failure to solve the Cyprus problem would be a tragedy with all sorts of economic and social consequences, Special Adviser of the UN Secretary General on Cyprus Alexander Downer has said, speaking at a conference organized by The Economist magazine in Nicosia, on the Cyprus issue and the prospects for a settlement. He pointed out that it is not right for some people to say that the solution can`t be done or that the negotiating process is dead, despite existing difficulties.

    People who want this process to fail need to ask themselves what they are really wishing for. I would say, if you are in favor of failure, be careful what you wish for, and if you are in favor of success, then it is possible, said the Special Adviser, stressing the importance of the Cypriot peoples desire for a solution, regardless of what UN people involved think.

    Downer also said that convergence has been achieved in the UN - led talks, but on important issues such as property there are still many differences between the two sides. Recalling that Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leaders Dervis Eroglu had their 100th meeting on Friday, he said that whether thats something to celebrate depends on the point of view. He added, however that Fridays meeting is a landmark.

    Downer referred then in detail to the convergences and disagreements in the negotiations, noting that the goal is to reunify Cyprus in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with single sovereignty and personality, but with two federal states. Regarding the issue of governance, Downer said the two sides have largely but not completely converged on how that federal system will work. He added that they agreed that it will have a president, a vice president and council of ministers and they largely, not 100% agreed on two houses of parliament and a judiciary.


    The Foreign Minister, Markos Kyprianou, will participate in the meetings of the EU Foreign and General Affairs Councils which to held in Brussels on 21 March. The General Affairs Council will be mainly concerned with the preparation of the forthcoming European Council meeting which will be held on 24-25 March.

    Concerning the Meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council, the discussion will focus on the recent developments in Libya and the countries of the Southern Neighbourhood. The Council will also address the situation in Japan and have an exchange of views on the current situation in Bosnia Herzegovina and Belarus. The Council is also expected to adopt conclusions on Sahel region, the situation in Somalia as well as the issue of human rights in Iran.

    Finally, the Council is expected to be briefed on the issue of South Caucasus as well as the issue of EU participation in the proceedings of the United Nations General Assembly.


    The Republic of Cyprus has signed in Nicosia a contract with the European Investment Bank (EIB), worth 80 million euros, aiming to improve its high-speed road network. The contract was signed during a ceremony by the Minister of Finance Charilaos Stavrakis and EIB Vice-President Ploutarchos Sakellaris. An agreement on the execution of four infrastructure projects, three of which relate to road networks, was also signed by Sakellaris and the Minister of Communications and Works Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis.

    In statements after the signatory ceremony, Marcoullis said the projects were of major importance for Cyprus, including the broadening of the highway entry point and the road junction in Nicosia, the connection between Limassol port and the Limassol-Paphos highway and others.

    Stavrakis said that the EIB granted in 2010 loans to Cyprus, worth 460 million euros, for a variety of important projects, as well as another 140 million euros for funding the construction of the sewage system in various communities.

    Sakellaris said on his part that the EIB has achieved and surpassed within 2010 its goals to support economic recovery, adding that in the past two years the EIB acted swiftly and achieved to contain the effects of the crisis. EIB funding in 2010 within the EU, he said, reached 63 billion euros, while total extra-EU investments stood at 9 billion euros.

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