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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-03-27

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias underlined on Sunday that the proposal he has submitted for a census in both communities of Cyprus will address the issue of the illegal settlers living in Cyprus` Turkish occupied areas, adding that the UN and the international community ought to be alarmed by the rejecton of his proposal by the Turkish Cypriot side.

    President of the Republic said that his proposal provides for both communities to invite the United Nations Population Fund or any other international organization such as the Council of Europe or OSCE, to organize and monitor a census in Cyprus.

    The census will be carried out according to the internationally recognized regulations and will comply with the UN Population Fund specifications, the President said, adding that both communities will assign independent experts to carry out the census.

    He said that we want this census to take place in order to establish how many foreigners have obtained TRNC citizenship, adding that we think that all data provided by Turkey or the Turkish Cypriot side is not reliable.

    Christofias said that the Turkish Cypriot side opposes to the population census and is trying to underline the existence of a state in the occupied areas. He called on the UN to take into consideration the Turkish stance and behavior which leads to a deadlock.

    The President also underlined that the proposals put forward by the Turkish Cypriot side are far from what it was agreed with former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.

    He also called for unity, saying that the Cyprus problem is at a very crucial point and our efforts aim at reaching a mutually acceptable, just and viable solution that will bring an end to the occupation and the illegal settling, will safeguard human rights and fundamental freedoms of all the people of Cyprus.

    The President also referred to the missing persons issue saying that it is a purely humanitarian issue and stressed Turkeys responsibility in lifting all constraints that inhibit the research by the Committee on Missing Persons with the aim of identifying the fate of all missing individuals.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. As a result of the invasion, 1619 Greek-Cypriots were listed as missing, most of whom soldiers or reservists, who were captured in the battlefield.

    Among them, however, were many civilians, women and children, arrested by the Turkish invasion troops and Turkish-Cypriot paramilitary groups, within the area controlled by the Turkish army, after the end of hostilities and far away from the battlefield. Many of those missing were last seen alive in the hands of the Turkish military. A further 41 more cases of Greek Cypriot missing persons have been recently added. These cases concern the period between 1963-1964, when inter-communal fighting broke out but none of them has been identified yet.

    The number of Turkish Cypriot missing since 1974 and 1963/64 stands at 503.

    According to figures released by the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), to date, human remains representing over 750 individuals have been exhumed. Over 260 missing persons have been identified and returned to the families for proper burial.


    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias has called on the Turkish leadership to realize that seismological areas are not suitable for constructing nuclear plants.

    Speaking at an event organized on Saturday at the Presidential Palace to celebrate the Earth Hour, President Christofias stressed that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan must get the message ``that seismologically active areas are not suitable for the construction of a nuclear plant.

    Referring to Ankaras plans to construct a nuclear plant in Akkuyu in the Turkish southern province of Mersin, President said that Cyprus positions were presented by him at the European Council in Brussels, adding that Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou as well as other EU Prime Ministers and Presidents also expressed their concerns on this issue.

    The President also spoke about the government`s environmental policy, referring to the projects undertaken for waste reduction and for promoting recycling, as well as the actions to address climate changes. He also referred to the development of renewable energy sources.

    President Christofias pointed out that ``the development of renewable energy sources in Cyprus is on a very good track``.


    Archbishop Chrysostomos II has said that he will discuss on Monday at the Vatican with Pope Benedict XVI the Turkish Cypriot puppet regime`s demand for the pilgrims who visit Apostle Andreas Monastery in Turkish occupied Karpasia to pay an admission ticket to enter the Monastery.

    Archbishop who departed on Sunday for Rome, said that all European leaders as well as the Pope can exert pressure on Turkey, adding that if Ankara wishes to join the EU, it must behave accordingly.

    We will present the issue of the restoration of religious monuments and sites in the occupied areas and ask the Pope to assist our actions, Archbishop said, adding that the European leaders can intervene in order to persuade Turkey to allow the restoration of the religious monuments in the north occupied areas.

    He also said that we demand respect of human rights and religious rights, we are not second-class European citizens and if Turkey wants to join the EU, she must behave according to the EU rules.


    The Cyprus problem was at the focus of the Cyprus Federation of America (CFA) annual national convention held here on Saturday.

    Cypriot and Greek officals addressed the event, which was also attended by the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America Archbishop Demetrios and many prominent Cypriot and Greek members of the diaspora.

    Cypriot Health Minister Christos Patsalides, who represented the government of Cyprus at the convention, delivered a message by President of the Republic Demetris Christofias, who expressed his deep gratitude for CFAs and all expatriates contribution in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem.

    Patsalides underlined President Christofias` determination for a solution and reunification, stressing that we are not the obstacle for the solution and noting Turkeys intransigence and the unacceptable positions of the Turkish side.

    He also said that we have to be united in order to address Turkeys plans, sending also the message to the international community that we do not accept any timeframes or arbitration.

    ``Our efforts aim at reaching a mutually accepted, just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, that will bring an end to the occupation and the illegal settling and will safeguard the human rights and fundamental of all the people of Cyprus, Patsalides added.

    Addressing the expatriates, he asked them to continue to support their country, and to maintain their bonds with their homeland.

    Cyprus Ambassador to the US Pavlos Anastasiades spoke of the close relations between Cyprus and USA, adding that since its independence, Cyprus has been a partner for the US and the Cyprus government is determined to strengthen bilateral relations.

    Referring to the ongoing UN-led talks aiming to a Cyprus settlement, Ambassador Anastasiades said that many of the proposals put forward by the Turkish Cypriot side, jeopardize the agreed base for as settlement.``

    Archbishop Demetrios referring to the Cyprus problem said that we need deeds, not only words, adding that the Cyprus problem is an issue of invasion and violation of human rights.

    Re-elected CFA President Panicos Papanicolaou spoke about the federation`s activities in promoting the Cyprus problem, saying that our efforts are difficult and costly, however we will spare no effort.

    Greek Minister Christos Papoutsis, Greek parliamentarians and PSEKA President Philip Christopher also addressed the convention.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the islands northern third. The leaders of the two communities are currently engaged in UN-sponsored talks to find a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus issue.

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