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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Archbishop: the Church believes that we will not reach an agreement ]

Archbishop: the Church believes that we will not reach an agreement

Stefanos Evripidou

THE BELGIAN government has a “genuine interest” in enhancing relations with Cyprus and not only now as head of the EU rotating presidency, said Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere yesterday.

Vanackere said the “best way” for him “to have a good and full understanding of the ambitions of Cyprus as a country and the challenges ahead” was to visit the island and meet with its leaders.

During his stay the Belgian minister, who left the island yesterday, met with President Demetris Christofias, House President Marios Garoyian, DISY leader Nicos Anastassiades, head of the EU negotiating delegation in the talks Leopold Maurer, head of the EU Representation in Cyprus Androulla Kaminara and Archbishop Chrysostomos II.

After visiting the Archbishopric, Chrysostomos said he briefed the Belgian official on the Church’s positions regarding the Cyprus problem, telling him that the Turkish side speaks about “two states, two governments and two peoples, which is not a federal basis”.

“The Church believes that we will not reach an agreement and in order to reach an agreement we must appoint independent experts, constitutionalists, sociologists, historians, and experts on Turkish issues from European countries, who respect human rights, who will work within the principles of the EU and the UN,” he said.

He added that America and Europe goes to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and possibly Iran, on the premise of human rights. “We don’t want to go to war for Cyprus, but (we want) these principles that apply to favoured nations to apply in Cyprus too. We don’t want anything more than what applies in America or Europe,” said the primate.

AKEL Central Committee member Georgios Loucaides yesterday welcomed Belgium’s positions on the package of proposals recently promoted by Christofias. He said the positive response to the three-pronged package was even more important since Belgium currently holds the EU presidency.

Loucaides highlighted that Belgium joined Greece and Russia in welcoming Christofias’ initiative for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem.

The package includes a proposal to link the property issue with that of territory and settlers in the talks, an offer to open Famagusta port under supervision in exchange for the return of Varosha, and the calling of an international conference under certain conditions to discuss the “international aspects” of the Cyprus problem.

The AKEL official echoed Christofias’ appeals for unity on the domestic front, calling on all parties to support the initiative despite their criticisms and promote it where they can.

Government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou yesterday confirmed that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has responded to Christofias’ latest proposals in a letter. While expressing the government’s “satisfaction” with the fact that the UN chief replied, Stefanou refused to go into any detail on the contents of the letter.

He argued that the proposals were balanced and realistic and would help speed up the process, adding: “We are continuing our efforts in coordination and cooperation with Greece to further promote them.”

(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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