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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-11-02

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The Greek Cypriot side has expressed satisfaction over the contents of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moons statement following the end of the two-day talks in New York for a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus issue, according to reliable sources.

    The same sources also describing the statement the best for the Greek Cypriot side, compared to the statements the UN chief had made at the end of his previous three meetings with Demetris Christofias and Dervis Eroglu.

    The sources note that Turkish Cypriot leaders negative stance in the SG and his aides efforts left no other alternative.

    According to diplomatic sources, the SGs statement indicates that the UN wants to test the effectiveness of a new mixed procedure of shuttle talks by its officials and other international players, which, to some extent, was applied in the Greentree talks and showed encouraging signs.

    A Greek Cypriot source said that Ban Ki-moons statement had an optimistic tone, rather than depicting what really happened at Greentree, in an effort to justify the new invitation he extended.

    The source said that Bans reference to some encouraging progress made at the Greentree talks, referred to each side appreciating the positions of the other as well as the improved understanding on the part of the SG of each sides positions as well as the good climate that prevailed during the talks.

    According to the source, Bans reference to the end game of negotiations means that at some point in 2012, the procedure that began in September 2008 will reach a crossroads. Either one path will lead to a solution, another perhaps a break until the Cyprus EU presidency is concluded and the Presidential elections in the government controlled areas of the Republic are held in early 2013 or the UN might declare a deadlock.

    Even though the international factor is favouring a break of the procedure until the presidential elections, a Greek Cypriot source said the third alternative could not be ruled out. The fact that we are reaching the end does not necessarily mean a solution to the Cyprus issue that is not agreed. The end might also mean deadlock.

    An official who was present at the Greentree negotiations noted that the UN SG clarified that if until the January meeting there is no substantial progress, most likely Ban will announce a break until the presidential elections in Cyprus.

    Regarding the procedure, a Greek Cypriot source indicated that the idea of shuttle talks was suggested by the Greek Cypriot side and from what it seems it will be adopted during the negotiations in Cyprus.

    This is helping us, the source said, reminding that during the last intensive round of negotiations, after each leader outlined his positions, the procedure was more relaxed as the aides were meeting in between. This surely is a lot different than having direct talks, the source added.

    The SGs aides will formulate the details of the negotiating procedure that will be followed until the January meeting, when the leaders will return to New York.

    UN Special Adviser Alexander Downer already started informing permanent members of the Security Council on what happened at Greentree. He already met the permanent representatives of Greece and Turkey.

    In his statement after the end of the Greentree talks, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had said that President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu have agreed that efforts are essential over the next two months to move to the end game of the negotiations for a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus issue.

    He also said that the leaders assured him that they can finalize a deal, acknowledging that there is still work to be done and that by January, when they will meet again with the SG, Ban expects that the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem will have been resolved so that they can move to the multilateral conference shortly thereafter.


    Noble Energy found giant gas fields in Israel and hopes to replicate that in Cyprus, Cyprus Country Manager of Noble Energy John Tomich said on Tuesday evening during a lecture entitled Nobles Energy Project in Cyprus at the University of Cyprus (UCY).

    We were lucky enough to be very successful finding giant gas fields in Israel and we hope to replicate that in Cyprus, he noted.

    In support of this he gave an in depth account of the work being done in Israel by Noble Energy noting that development is underway already on Tamar where the first giant field was found of a value of more than 8 trillion cubic feet. He said that the company has to drill at a depth of more than 5000 meters, which is very similar to block 12 within Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone.

    Referring to the Israeli Leviathan block, which is 50km from Cyprus own block 12, he said the gas field on that location is probably twice as big as the one in Tamar and spoke of the possibility of cooperation between the governments of Israel and Cyprus.


    Cyprus` Police force has taken heightened security measures for the official visit to Cyprus of Israeli President Shimon Peres on Wednesday and Thursday.

    Police Spokesman Michalis Katsounotos said the Police are on high alert in view of the visit on Thursday, and would be in full force the moment the President arrives in Cyprus. He said the Emergency Response Unit, with its Special Antiterrorist Squad, will be in close cooperation with other Police departments and services, to cover the whole operation.

    Katsounotos noted that the Crisis Management Centre of the Unit would be in operation, and that the helicopter of the Air Operation Unit would be monitoring the whole operation. He added that Chief of Police Michalis Papageorgiou has given clear orders to everyone involved in the Police operation to be fully alert and ready to make sure security is totally successful during Peres` visit.

    Replying to questions, Katsounotos said Peres would also be accompanied by members of his own guard.


    Cyprus` Champion APOEL FC Nicosia beat former European Cup winners Porto 2-1 at home and for the first time in the eastern Mediterranean island`s football history a Cypriot club is close to a place in the Champions League last 16.

    APOELs striker Ailton opened the score three minutes before the end of the first half through a penalty kick. Hulk equalised for Porto one minute before the end of the gain, again through a penalty kick. APOEL doubled their goals in the last minute through Gustavo Manduca. The first match between the two teams in Portugal had ended 1-1. Zenit St. Petersburg won earlier 1-0 Shakhtar Donetsk.

    APOEL FC leads Group G with 8 points followed by Zenit with 7 points. Porto is in third place with 4 points, followed by Shakhtar with 2 points.

    On 23 November, Zenit will play against APOEL while Sakhtar will clash with Porto. On 6 December, APOEL will meet Shakhtar while Porto will play against Zenit.

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