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Demands by the Turkish side at the Geneva Conference on the Cyprus problem last January and onwards have led to difficulties in the UN-led peace talks, Deputy Government Spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos has said.

Deputy Government Spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos

He pointed out however that the Greek Cypriot side will continue to show political will and will keep trying with all means available for progress in the negotiations for the reunification of Cyprus.

Papadopoulos was talking to the press after today’s meeting of the National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus issue. The political leaders were briefed by President Nicos Anastasiades on the talks, which resumed last week following a two month suspension because the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci walked out condemning a decision taken by the Cyprus House on the 1950 enosis (union) referendum.

He said that the National Council also exchanged views on the situation in Turkey following the referendum on April 16 for constitutional reforms as well as Ankara`s provocations in Cyprus` exclusive economic zone ( EEZ). Turkey has issued a navigational warning (NAVTEX) and has reserved an area within the territorial sea, continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of Cyprus off the coast of Famagusta for the conduct of seismic surveys, between 21 April and 30 June 2017, by the survey vessel “BARBAROS HAYREDDIN PAŞA” and support vessel “BRAVO SUPPORTER”.

Papadopoulos described the meeting as fruitful, saying that the exchange of ideas took place in a very good atmosphere.

Invited to comment on statements about a stalemate in the talks, he said that convergences and progress were made in the past, but now “we are faced with some difficulties and our side is showing good will to help overcome them.”

He added that the Greek Cypriot side will not abandon the negotiating table and the efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, and will intensify these efforts for progress to take place.

Papadopoulos also said that soon there will be another meeting of the National Council.

Replying to a question on possible efforts made by some to attribute responsibilities to the President, as well as to the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, Papadopoulos said that he is not aware of who is trying to attribute such responsibilities.

He underlined that the Greek Cypriot side is showing real political will and the President himself has taken bold decisions in the past in order for the dialogue to move forward. He also said that at this point it is not wise to get involved in a blame game and should remain focused on the aim to reunify our country.

Asked what steps have been taken to address the Turkish provocations in Cyprus` EEZ, he said that too many things have been done with respect to developments at any given time. Papadopoulos said that that patience and unity should prevail.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-backed talks aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.


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Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades expressed today hope that the new round of talks will lead to convergences between the two sides, that will bring about a Cyprus settlement.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades (L)-Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci (R)

Speaking on Tuesday, at the Presidential Palace, the President underlined that convergences need to be in line with EU principles and values, as well as the international law and must lead to a functioning state, without disregarding the concerns of any side.

President Anastasiades met on Tuesday with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, in the framework of UN-led talks for a Cyprus settlement. This was the first meeting between the leaders of the two communities after a two-month intermission.

Upon his return to the Presidential Palace, following a 3-hours meeting, the President welcomed the resumption of talks and said that they had a constructive exchange of views. He announced that the leaders agreed to the dates of their four next meetings, with the first one taking place on April 20.

According to the President, the negotiators of the two sides will meet on Wednesday, in order to bring forward their proposals for the continuation of the dialogue.

Asked if the Turkish side accepted a proposal for drafting a “triptych” with convergences and divergences, the President replied that “based on the triptych there will be further deliberations between the negotiators and of course between the leaders”.

The President was also asked if UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide will assume a different role in the current stage of negotiations and replied negatively. If both sides wish so, they will submit certain questions to Eide, in order to provide them with examples or opinions, he added.

Commenting on the issue of setbacks in previous convergences, coming from the Turkish side, the President of the Republic said that this will be discussed between the negotiators and between the leaders in their four next meetings.

The President said, moreover, that they also discussed a possible continuation of the Geneva Conference, noting however that progress on pending issues needs to precede such a conference.

We are not against a conference that will discuss guarantees and the presence of Turkish occupation troops on the island, as long as it is not according to Turkey`s preconditions, but rather the result of a dialogue between the two leaders, President Anastasiades underlined.

He also dismissed the notion about a formal or informal timetable and said that reaching a settlement depends on the genuine will of each side. “Therefore, there is no timetable, nor an upgraded role for the United Nations” he underlined.

Asked finally if the issue of natural gas was raised during today`s meeting by the Turkish Cypriot leader, President Anastasiades replied that nothing similar was discussed “nor would it be possible for me to accept negotiating the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus”.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-backed efforts to reunify the island under a federal roof were suspended when Mustafa Akinci walked out of a meeting in mid February, claiming that a House decision to commemorate, briefly, in school a 1950 referendum advocating union with Greece was in fact a shift in the long standing position of the Greek Cypriot side for a bicommunal, bizonal federal solution in Cyprus.

On April 4, Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on Cyprus announced that talks would resume, following consultations with both sides and other deliberations.


Article written by CNA

The Cyprus House plenary passed on Friday, by 30 votes in favour and 20 against, a bill tabled by the ruling Democratic Rally (DISY) party for a legislative amendment to shift decision-making power on school celebrations from the Parliament to the Ministry of Education.

Thirty MPs vote in favour and twenty against DISY’s bill

The bill was tabled by three DISY MPs Kyriakos Hadjiyiannis, Georgios Karoullas and Annita Demetriou, in the aftermath of a dispute caused by the introduction of a brief annual commemoration of the 1950 Enosis (union with Greece) referendum in state schools, prompting Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to withdraw from the reunification talks until the decision was rescinded.

The UN announced on Tuesday that talks for a Cyprus solution will resume on April 11.


Article written by CNA

Talks for a Cyprus solution will resume on April 11, the Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, announced on Tuesday.

Archive photo: President Anastasiades (L) – T/C Leader Mustafa Akinci (R)

According to a press release issued by the Secretary-General`s Good Offices Mission in Cyprus “Cyprus talks will resume following consultations with both sides and today’s meeting between the Secretary-General and the Turkish Cypriot Leader, Mr. Mustafa Akinci in Brussels”.

It adds that leaders will resume negotiations on Tuesday 11 April, at 10am local time (07.00 GMT) and the meeting will be held under the auspices of Eide.

The resumption of talks was announced earlier by Espen Barth Eide, who posted on his twitter account that “After consultations with @AnastasiadesCY & @MustafaAkinci_1 following Sunday`s dinner, we have agreed that #CyptusTalks resume 11 April”.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-backed efforts to reunify the island under a federal roof were suspended when Mustafa Akinci walked out of a meeting in mid February, claiming that a House decision to commemorate, briefly, in school a 1950 referendum advocating union with Greece was in fact a shift in the long standing position of the Greek Cypriot side for a bicommunal, bizonal federal solution in Cyprus.

President Anastasiades has described the decision “wrong”, saying the timing was not right. Akinci said he would not return to the negotiations unless the decision is revoked. The House is set to vote on an amendment on the bill, which essentially annuls the earlier House decision, on Friday 7 April.

The UN Secretary General Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide hosted a dinner last Sunday for President Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci. In an announcement, issued after the dinner, the UN noted that the two leaders reconfirmed their joint commitment to finding a solution in the best interest of all Cypriots and exchanged ideas about the way ahead.

Furthermore, the announcement said that Espen Barth Eide would continue his interaction with them in order to lay the groundwork for the resumption of the negotiations as soon as possible.


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Following an explosion that has taken place today in the St. Petersburg metro, Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces that on the basis of currently available information, it appears that no Cypriot citizen has come of harm.

Entrance of Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nicosia

It also notes that it is following closely the situation, in coordination with Cyprus` Embassy in Moscow and Consulate General in St. Petersburg. The Ministry says that will continue to monitor the situation closely.

For more information, Cypriot citizens can contact the Consulate General in St. Petersburg or the Ministry’s Crisis Management Centre, as follows:

Consulate General in St. Petersburg

Contact information during office hours (9:00 – 16:30, Monday – Friday)

Address

Furshtatskaya Ulitsa 27
191123 St. Petersburg

Tel.:                            + 7 812 456 22 55
Tel. from Cyprus:     + 357 22 65 1517
Fax:                            + 7 812 456 22 66
Email:                        info@cyprus-spb.ru
Web:                           www.cyprus-spb.ru

Contact information during out of office hours

Tel:                             +7 921 751 40 84
+7 921 186 62 76

Ministry Crisis Management Centre

Tel.:                            +35722801000
+35797775998
Email:                        cycc@mfa.gov.cy


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The Minister of Foreign Affairs Ioannis Kasoulides on Thursday had a telephone conversation with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson, with whom he discussed Brexit.

Cyprus Foreign Affairs Minister Ioannis Kasoulides (L) – UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (R)

According to an announcement issued by the Press and Information Office, during the telephone conversation, following an initiative of Johnson, the British Minister officially announced the invocation of Article 50 for the exit of the United Kingdom from the EU and reassured that Britain will always consider the EU as its partner and will continue to work with the Union in the mutually-agreed areas.

He also referred to the special ties of the United Kingdom and Cyprus, which will be taken into consideration in the framework of the negotiation.

Minister Kasoulides thanked his counterpart for the briefing and reassured for Cyprus’ wish for a smooth conduct of the negotiations that will be beneficial for both sides, avoiding any situations that could cause deadlocks.

He highlighted the consequences from the UK’s exit, especially for Cyprus, because of the fact that the sectors of trade, tourism, investments and maritime hold a big part in the Cyprus-British relations, while Cyprus is proudly implementing the customary law in the field of justice. The two countries also cooperate in issues related to the area of security.

The Government of Cyprus will make efforts for those sectors to remain unaffected and this should be part of the negotiations to be held both between the EU and the UK and the UK and Cyprus. Finally, Kasoulides informed his interlocutor that the pursuit of the Republic of Cyprus is for the current status between the citizens of the Republic of Cyprus, who leave or work in the territory of the Bases, with the status of the citizens, who leave or work in the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, to be kept.


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The funeral of singer George Michael took place today during a private ceremony with his family and close friends.

A statement released on behalf of the family today read:

‘We can confirm that the funeral of the singer George Michael took place today. Family and close friends gathered for the small, private ceremony to say goodbye to their beloved Son, Brother and Friend.

‘George Michael’s family would like to thank his fans across the world for their many messages of love and support. We ask that the family’s wish for privacy be respected so that they can continue to live their lives privately, away from any media intrusion.

‘No further details will be released.’

Michael’s funeral had been delayed while his family waited for a coroner’s report to determine his cause of death. It was confirmed on March 7 that George died of ‘natural causes’.

George Michael died in December last year at the age of 53.


Article written by London Greek Radio

UK Special Envoy on Cyprus Jonathan Allen is set to pay the island a two-day visit on Wednesday and Thursday during which he will hold contacts regarding the Cyprus talks.

Jonathan Allen – UK’s special envoy to Cyprus

“Jonathan Allen, the UK’s Special Envoy on Cyprus will visit Nicosia for 2 days on 29-30 March,” a British High Commission press release issued here today says.

During that time, it is added, “Allen will hold contacts with both sides in the Cyprus settlement negotiations, UN Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, Espen Barthe Eide, and meet representatives of civil society and the bi-communal technical committees whose work also makes an important contribution to rapprochement between the communities of the island.”

Speaking on the visit, British High Commissioner Matthew Kidd said that “the UK welcomes the commitment of Mr. Anastasiades and Mr. Akinci to resuming political level talks soon.”

“The two leaders have shown courage and dedication to get this far in their negotiations, and have made remarkable progress,” he added.

He also expressed the view that “with continued commitment and political will on behalf of the leaders, we continue to believe that an historic agreement is within reach.”

Allen has held the role of Special Envoy on Cyprus since the Geneva Conference on Cyprus in January 2017.

He served as Political/Communications Officer at the British High Commission from 1999 – 2002.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN led talks between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities resumed in May 2015 with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

The talks were interrupted in mid February by the Turkish Cypriot side, which demands that a decision passed by the Cypriot Parliament relating to a 1950 referendum on union with Greece is revoked, claiming this indicates a shift in the Greek Cypriot side`s goal for a federal solution. The amendment provides that there will be a very brief reference one a year to the referendum at schools.

President Anastasiades has described the House decision as wrong and called on the leader of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, who walked out of the talks, to return to the negotiating table to discuss pending issues with a view to reach a mutually acceptable agreement to reunite the country.

The UN SG`s Special Adviser on Cyprus is hosting a dinner for the two leaders on Sunday. This is the first time the two will meet since mid February.


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UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide is set to host a dinner for Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci next Sunday, April 2, at Ledra Palace hotel, in Nicosia.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades (L)-Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci (R)

In a press release the UN SG`s Good Offices Mission in Cyprus announced on Monday that “Eide, will host a dinner for the Greek Cypriot leader, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Mustafa Akıncı, on Sunday 2nd April.”

“The dinner will be held at the Ledra Palace Hotel within the UN buffer zone,” the press release concludes.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN led talks between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities resumed in May 2015 with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

The talks were interrupted in mid February by the Turkish Cypriot side, which demands that a decision passed by the Cypriot Parliament relating to a 1950 referendum on union with Greece is revoked, claiming this indicates a shift in the Greek Cypriot side`s goal for a federal solution. The amendment provides that there will be a very brief reference one a year to the referendum at schools.

President Anastasiades has described the House decision as wrong and called on the leader of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, who walked out of the talks, to return to the negotiating table to discuss pending issues with a view to reach a mutually acceptable agreement to reunite the country.

Sunday will be the first time the two will meet again.


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The Republic of Cyprus unreservedly condemns the heinous terrorist attack in London, on March 22, 2017, and expresses full support to and solidarity with the government and the people of the United Kingdom.

Cyprus’ Foreign Ministry: “at this difficult time, all thoughts are, primarily, with the victims and their families”

According to an announcement by the Foreign Ministry, “at this difficult time, all thoughts are, primarily, with the victims and their families”.

It is added that Cyprus stands by the UK and other international partners and is actively taking part in the fight against international terrorism.


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