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Gerasa Village                                    Photo ©

06 April 2017

1. Cyprus signs series of drilling contracts with energy giants

Exploratory drilling is set to take place in block 11 of Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the first two weeks of July, Eleanor Rowley, a top Total official, said on Thursday. She was speaking during a ceremony, at the Presidential Palace, in Nicosia, to sign the contracts for exploration and production sharing contracts for blocks 6 and 8 within Cyprus` EEZ. On Thursday the government signed a similar contract with ExxonMobil Corporation and Qatar Petroleum for Block 10.

2. Greece supports resumption of Cyprus peace talks

The Greek government is “actively supporting” the resumption of UN-led peace talks in Cyprus, which were suspended last month, when Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci walked out of a meeting. After a meeting on Wednesday, in Athens, with the President of the European Council Donald Tusk, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told journalists that although developments in the Cyprus issue were not “especially encouraging”, he hoped that negotiations between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots “will be substantial”.

3. Foreign Minister underlines need to prepare for Brexit

The government of Cyprus needs to speed up own procedures in order to be ready for Brexit, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said on Wednesday, after briefing the Cabinet on the negotiations that will take place between the EU and United Kingdom. "We need to expedite our own procedures, in order to be ready for both negotiations" regarding Britain`s withdrawal from the block and its future relations with the EU "so that the Cypriot positions are included in the EU guidelines" Kasoulides said.

4. Remains believed to belong to Greek Cypriot missing persons found near lake

The remains of four missing persons, believed to belong to Greek Cypriots, have been found north of lake Galateia in the Karpas peninsula, in the northern-eastern Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus. The Greek Cypriot member of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) Nestoras Nestoros told CNA that numbers may increase. Excavations in the area were conducted in the past, but now the CMP received fresh information on burial sites, according to Nestoros.

5. House President says Cyprus could be the base for international insurance operations

Cyprus has the potential to become a destination for companies to setup their base for their international insurance operations, House President Demetris Syllouris said Wednesday while addressing the 3rd Conference of Cyprus Association of Actuaries. He also noted that "Cyprus should be quick to seize the opportunities" that arise.

6. Cypriot passport holders to use eVisa for India travels

India announced Thursday its decision to extend the eVisa facility to Cypriot passport holders for tourism purposes. "In view of excellent, traditionally historic relations between India and Cyprus and the desire of both countries to promote tourism, people to people contacts and explore further opportunities, the Government of India has decided with immediate effect to extend eVisa to Cypriot passport holders" an announcement by India`s High Commission in Cyprus says.

7. ECHR notes lack of cooperation between Cyprus and Turkey in murder case

Lack of cooperation between Cyprus and Turkey resulted in an ineffective investigation in a murder case, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said on Tuesday in its judgment concerning a case related to the murder of three Turkish Cypriots who were shot dead in the southern government-controlled areas of Cyprus on January 15, 2005. The Court held, by five votes to two, that each respondent Government was to pay each applicant 8,500 euros in respect of non-pecuniary damage.

8. Cyprus to distribute humanitarian aid to Jordan and Lebanon

The Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Alexandros Zenon, announced that in 2017 and 2018 Cyprus will distribute humanitarian aid worth €100,000 to Jordan and Lebanon, noting that an additional €200,000 will be earmarked in next year`s budget. Zenon represented the Republic of Cyprus at the Conference on the future of Syria, that took place on Wednesday, in Brussels.

9. CVAR awarded the "Europa Nostra" prize for cultural heritage

The Centre of Visual Arts & Research (CVAR) in Nicosia, belonging to the Costas & Rita Severis Foundation, is among the winners of the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage "Europa Nostra Awards 2017". This is the first time a Cypriot entry wins in the Education, Training and Awareness-Raising category. Independent juries of experts examined a total of 202 applications submitted by organisations and individuals from 39 countries across Europe, and selected the 29 laureates.

10. Koutsokoumnis elected at FIFA Executive Committee

The President of the Cyprus Football Association Costakis Koutsokoumnis was elected as representative of UEFA at FIFA Executive Committee. The election was unanimously ratified on Wednesday during the UEFA Congress held on Wednesday in Helsinki, Finland. Koutsokoumnis was elected for a four year term.CNA