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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-10-04

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer announced Tuesday that President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu will meet Ban Ki-moon in New York on the 30th and 31st of October, to discuss the progress in the UN-led talks aiming at reaching a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Downer said that the leaders, who met for about an hour on Tuesday, focused on the way they are going to address the next phase of the negotiations until the meeting in New York. He added that they discussed their approaches to the procedures and in the next meeting, scheduled for Friday, they will take that forward.

    The meeting was a procedural meeting. It was a meeting in order to work out the procedures for this process through October and they concluded the discussions, he said.

    He added that the leaders will be coming back with their approaches on Friday.

    Asked whether there will be a change in the procedure, Downer said that this is a different phase.

    We have gone through it chapter by chapter, all of the agenda at least in relation to the core issues and now through this process they will be looking at them both individually and collectively between now and the end of the month, he said.

    Downer was also asked whether the talks will be affected after a report, published by a Commission of Inquiry which investigated the circumstances that led to Julys massive explosion, said that President Christofias has serious constitutional and personal responsibilities.

    The politics on either side are not really a matter of the UN and we don`t engage in that politics, even if politicians sometimes like to engage us. We dont re-engage, he said.

    He added that the UN naturally enough and appropriately enough will always deal with the people who are in power.

    If others are asking them to resign, that has nothing to do with us. Thats an internal matter, it is not a matter of the UN, the UN has no role in any of that at all, he said commenting the fact that the majority of Greek Cypriot political parties has asked the Cypriot President to resign after the publication of the report.

    Asked whether he discussed the outcome of the report with President Christofias, Downer said that in the context of the meeting they certainly had no discussion about this issue. He added that this wasnt an issue for these negotiations.

    President Christofias rejected the Commission findings that he bears personal responsibility concerning the deadly blast at the naval base Evaggelos Florakis, at Mari, which killed 13 people, injured dozens and badly damaged the islands main power plant. The President also said that he will not resign.

    Following the blast, on July 11, the government appointed a Commission of Inquiry, headed by lawyer Polis Polyviou, to investigate the circumstances that led to the massive explosion of munitions, which killed 13 people and crippled the islands main power station. The Commission was instructed to look into possible political responsibilities

    The blast occurred in containers full of munitions, which Cyprus stored at the naval base, after confiscating the load from Monchegorsk, a vessel sailing from Iran to Syria in 2009. Cyprus was acting according to UN Security Council resolutions, imposing sanctions on Teheran.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Peace talks are currently underway to find a negotiated settlement that will reunite the country, under a federal roof.


    Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Praxoulla Antoniadou on Tuesday said that if all goes well regarding the drilling for hydrocarbons in Cyprus EEZ, the primary findings should be expected beginning of December.

    Speaking to the press, Antoniadou said that the drill has so far reached 1.000 meters underneath the seabed, adding that the goal is to hit 4.000 meters.

    She also explained that if the works go on smoothly and there is a positive outcome by the beginning of December, then there will be a second phase of assessment drilling, called appraisal wells in order to evaluate the quality and quantity of the reserves.

    Invited to comment on reports that there might be richer reserves in other blocks in Cyprus EEZ, Commerce Minister said that government holds discussions in a high political level and pursues its next steps, accordingly.


    The leadership of the Cyprus Police delivered to the Attorney Generals office on Tuesday its report as to possible criminal offences relating to the 11th July explosion at the Evangelos Florakis Naval base at Mari.

    A total of 36 files containing material were also presented.

    Police Chief Michael Papageorgiou accompanied by a delegation of investigators, handed the report to Attorney-General Petros Clerides who said it is made of two volumes containing a total of one thousand pages, with 1,123 statements taken, 510 testimonies and 464 pieces of evidence, adding that everything will be examined, together with the report issued on Monday by Commission of Inquiry Head Polys Polyviou and the soonest possible there will be a decision as to whether he will proceed with charges for criminal offences.

    Asked by reporters to comment on Polyvious remarks that undoubtedly serious criminal offences have been committed , including homicide, adding that the Republics Attorney General would need to investigate the possibility of committing such offenses by those responsible, sparing no one, Clerides said that he will read the material that the Police have given him.

    I will study Mr. Polyvious report and I will see whether based on his report, there are grounds for the police to take additional evidence, said Clerides. However he underlined that the final decision for proceeding with charges for criminal offences lies with the Attorney General, based on the evidence furnished by the Police. He also did not give a timeframe as to when he will take his final decision.


    The Council of Europe Forum for the Future of Democracy, will take place in the southern coastal town of Limassol a session entitled ``The interdependence of democracy and social cohesion: strengthening representation and democratic participation through public dialogue and civic engagement``.

    The forum, which will be hold 13-14 October marks the seventh Forum since its creation in 2005 by the Warsaw Summit of Council of Europe Heads of State and Government. In the light of the push towards democracy taking place in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region, Forum stakeholders, in their respective spheres of competence, will invite experts from countries on the southern and eastern rims of the Mediterranean basin.

    The Cyprus Forum will focus on the interdependence of democracy and social cohesion, addressing the issues from a political point of view. It will examine the main trends in, and challenges to, stronger linkages between democracy and social cohesion, taking into account the growing threat to social cohesion as European governments and institutions struggle to respond to the financial crisis.

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