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Lefkara Village                                          Photo ©

30 May 2017

1. Cyprus President speaks of importance all parties to remain committed to talks continuation

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said yesterday that it is of the utmost importance for all sides to remain committed to the continuation of the dialogue on the Cyprus problem, safeguard and respect the convergences reached, and abandon any pretexts, or untenable demands and preconditions that do not, in any way or form, serve the interests either of the Turkish Cypriots, or the Greek Cypriots. In statements at the presidential palace after a meeting with the Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas he also said once again that Turkey is expected to finally deliver on its verbal commitments, and to contribute tangibly to the process for a Cyprus settlement.

2. Decision on troops and guarantees has to be taken when all sides are fully prepared, says Eide

The final decision about troops and guarantees in Cyprus cannot be taken now in Geneva, but has to be taken when all sides are fully prepared, UNSG Special Envoy Espen Barth Eide said yesterday after a meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, in Athens.In his statements to the press Eide said that Cyprus talks are going through a difficult phase because, in spite of the fact that we have made significant progress on so many chapters, and in spite of the fact that both of the leaders, are both of the view that it would be good to reconvene the International Conference on Cyprus in Geneva, “we have not been able so far to agree on the modalities, and the structure and the order of things to be discussed in a possible  new Geneva Conference”. Eide meets, in Ankara, later today with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, UN spokesman Aleem Siddique has told CNA.

3. Greek FM hopes Ankara will be sufficiently wise to prepare a Geneva Conference on Cyprus

The Greek side consistently supports the continuation of the inter-communal negotiations for a Cyprus settlement, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said on Monday, noting that it was Athens which insisted from the beginning for an open-ended negotiation. Kotzias expressed hope that at a certain point Turkey  will be sufficiently wise "so that we will be able to prepare an international conference in Geneva on the issue of security, with a view to abolish the 1960 Treaties of Zurich and London for Cyprus." (Treaties of Alliance and Guarantee).

4. UK authorities should resettle refugees from the British Bases in Cyprus soon, Muižnieks tells CNA

The UK should resettle soon six families of refugees living in the British Bases, in Cyprus, since 1998, said yesterday Niels Muižnieks, the Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe. Asked by CNA to comment on the case, Muižnieks welcomed the judgment of the UK Court of Appeal, which ordered last week the Home Secretary to reconsider the case.  The judgement “reinforces the conclusions reached by the UN and myself that the UK authorities should resettle the refugees living in the Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus” Muižnieks told CNA.

5. Foreign Affairs Ministry condemns recent terrorist attack against Coptic Christians

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus condemns the recent terrorist attack which perpetrated in Al Minya, Egypt, on 26 May 2017, against Coptic Christians, resulting in the tragic loss of dozens of innocent civilians, including children. “No attack against civilians can remain unpunished. It is the responsibility of the international community to co-operate against this common threat, so that all perpetrators of such crimes can be brought to justice”, says the Ministry in a written statement.

6. Total deposits and loans down in April

Total deposits in April 2017 recorded a net drop of €155.4 million, compared to the previews month, however, deposits increased year on year for the 12th consecutive month, showing an increase of 6.4% or €3.31 billion. According to the data released Monday by the Central Bank of Cyprus, total deposits in April 2017 decreased to €49.20 billion, compared with €49.55 billion in March 2017. The deposits of residents of Cyprus recorded a net decrease of € 112.9 million in April 2017 to € 36.30 billion, while deposits of residents of EU member - states decreased by € 8.9 million to € 3.32 billion. Deposits from residents of third countries decreased by € 33.6 million to € 9.57 billion.  Total loans had a net drop of €91.6 million, compared with €28.0 million in March 2017.

7. Cyprus, Greece and Egypt agree on measures for environmental protection

Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Nicos Kouyialis, had a meeting yesterday, in Cairo, with the Ministers of Environment of Egypt, Khaled Fahmy, and Greece, Socrates Famellos, during which the three ministers adopted a Joint Statement and agreed on the implementation of specific measures for the enhancement of the cooperation of the three countries in five priority areas, regarding the protection of the environment. The meeting was held in the framework of the trilateral cooperation of the three states, as it was set in the high level meeting of the President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades, the Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, and the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, in Egypt, in October 2016.

8. UNFICYP commemorates International Day of Peacekeepers

The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) paid tribute yesterday to all the UN peacekeepers deployed in 16 missions around the world and honoured the memory of those who have lost their lives while serving, on the occasion of the International Day of Peacekeepers.  A hundred and eighty – six UN peacekeepers have lost their lives in Cyprus in the 53 years of UNFICYP. According to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres “demand for UN peacekeepers has risen steadily over the years, and deployment is now near an all-time high”.

9. Larnaca beaches to be equipped with “eco-ashtrays”

Ten Blue Flag beaches in the Larnaca District will be equipped with “eco ashtrays” by the end of the week. Biodegradable, cone-shaped ashtrays will be offered for free in selected beaches, and rather than throwing them away, they are designed to be reused by multiple visitors. Larnaca Tourism Board chief Dinos Lefkaritis said yesterday at the launch of the initiative that it is aimed at keeping beaches free from butt waste, while raising environmental awareness and improving health standards. The initiative will also improve the quality of beaches and help Larnaca’s tourism product stay competitive, he added.CNA