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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 [ Peacemaker riles before he even arrives ]

Peacemaker riles before he even arrives

FORMER Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has already ruffled feathers on both sides in Cyprus over announcing that he would be the new Cyprus UN envoy before being officially appointed.

Downer, 56, announced his resignation from politics yesterday, saying he would be bowing out on July 14. Reports in The Australian said he had already managed to tick off the two sides with his premature pronouncements about Cyprus.

The Cyprus Mail learned yesterday that neither side had yet given the UN the green light for Downer. Neither have they expressed reservations. They are allowed to object to the appointment but so far both sides have not even responded.

Until now the UN has avoided making the appointment official although they have on several occasions confirmed that Downer was approached. It is understood the UN wanted to wait for a date for new Cyprus talks to be announced before appointing a new special envoy.

According to The Australian, the Turkish Cypriot side is particularly peeved with Downer’s “boasting” about his appointment before they had agreed to it.

Mehmet Dana, a spokesman in the office of Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat was quoted as saying: "To the best of my knowledge, it's not official. Both sides have to be consulted, and that is happening."

The Greek Cypriot side said something similar, according to the report, although Government Spokesman Stefanos Stefanou could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Spokesman for the UN's peacekeeping force in Cyprus, Jose Diaz, said the normal procedure was for both sides to agree, and then for an announcement to be made through the office of the UN Secretary General in New York.

Downer announced in London earlier this week that he would be stepping down from politics to take up the Cyprus post. "I will be working toward helping the Cyprus saga, working as an envoy to try and resolve that long standing issue," Downer, 56, told reporters in London.

“It's not going to be a cakewalk,” he said, pointing to the many failed attempts to solve the Cyprus issue in the past. “These things are always untidy. It's never easy to do. We ended the civil war in Bougainville. We played our part in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why not try to fix up Cyprus as well?"

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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