The month of July has been quite constructive in addressing difficulties in the framework of the Cyprus talks, President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades, said on Tuesday.
The President was speaking to the media, at the Presidential Palace, upon his return from the meeting he had with Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, in the framework of the UN-led talks for a solution to the Cyprus problem.
The meeting, the President said, was constructive and focused on internal security issues and jurisdiction.
Through the dialogue, he added, each side understands better the concerns of the other side and through a constructive contribution, improvements and progress are achieved.
Asked whether the two sides reached any convergences today, he said there have been some but refrained from elaborating.
The leaders will meet again on Friday, 29th of July. According to President Anastasiades during that meeting they will exchange general views on the issues of territorial adjustments, security and guarantees and properties.
“I have to say that especially July has been quite constructive in addressing, in solving difficulties that seemed for many times as insurmountable”, he stressed.
Replying to questions, the President said that after the summer break there will be a new intensified round the last ten days of August and the first ten days of September.
Asked if the Greek Cypriot side is satisfied with the resolution for the renewal of UNFICYP`s mandate (UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus), he said “I do not see what could cause problems either to our side or to any side”, adding that what matters is what is being done at the negotiating table.
Pointing out that there is a continuous progress on a series of issues, he said that nevertheless he can not give a positive note if the problems are not solved, including the properties chapter, the territorial adjustments, security and guarantees and other pending issues.
Asked whether the goal for a solution in 2016 is not within reach, he said that the goal and the wish is to achieve a solution this year but noted that this does not depend on our wish, it depends on the positions put forward at the negotiations.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-led talks between Anastasiades and Akinci have been underway since May 2015, aiming to reunify the island under a federal roof.
Article written by CNA
Police are appealing for help to find an elderly man missing from Enfield.
Stylianos Sophokleous, 80, was last seen at approximately 08:00hrs on Saturday, 23 July when he left his home on Chatsworth Drive.
Mr Sophokleous is described as white, 5ft 9ins tall, of slim build with white hair.
When he was last seen, he was wearing a shirt and trousers.
Mr Sophokleous has dementia and may appear confused.
He is known to travel across the bus network.
Anyone who has seen Mr Sophokleous is asked to contact officers at Enfield via 101.
Article written by news.met.police.uk
The Cypriot champions APOEL won 3-0 on the night in the second qualifying round in GSP Stadium managing (3-0 on aggregate), over Wales side TNS over the two legs.
Goals from Cyprus internationals Nektarios Alexandrou and Pieros Sotiriou did the damage for TNS, who held Apoel to a goalless draw in the first leg at Park Hall last Tuesday.
Tomas de Vincenti added a late penalty for the hosts in injury time.
The Cypriot champions kept TNS captain Paul Harrison busy throughout.
Nuno Morais, formerly with Chelsea, fired a dipping effort just wide before Sotiriou missed a free header.
Vander Vieira crashed the ball against the crossbar as Nicosia pressed, before Sotiriou’s header was brilliantly cleared off the line by defender Phil Baker, whose 31 appearances in Europe is a new record for a Welsh club player.
However, the quality of Sotiriou eventually told after the interval, his movement allowing captain Alexandrou to fire through a crowd and beat Harrison at his near post on 53 minutes.
Sotiriou hit the inside of the right hand post as The New Saints clung on, but when he was given too much space with 20 minutes remaining he swivelled and fired home from close range to end any hopes of a comeback.
De Vincenti added gloss to the scoreline with an injury-time penalty.
APOEL will face Rosenborg of Norway in the third qualifying round with the ties to be played on 27th July and 2nd August.
Article written by lgr.co.uk
The Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn has called upon the UK Government to work for the reunification of Cyprus, carrying out its obligations towards the island as one of the Guarantor powers.
Corbyn was addressing a UK Cypriot event in north London’s Cypriot Community Centre on Wednesday evening, organised by the Famagusta Association of Great Britain to mark the 42nd anniversary of the Turkish invasion and beginning of the illegal occupation of the northern part of the island.
The Leader of the Opposition hailed the “huge” contribution of the Cypriot community in the life and economy of London and reminisced about how he had helped found the Cypriot Community Centre as a north London councillor. “People here have stayed together determined to see Cyprus reunited; and I want to see that too. I am very proud to be here, at a place I helped found as local councillor,” he told CNA.
In his speech he praised the steadfastness of the Cypriots he had first met in 1974 in keeping their community together and taking up the cause of reunifying their island. “It is obvious that this not huge and divided island should be reunited. I absolutely take at heart your call for serious progress by the British Government, because Britain is one of the Guarantors of Cyprus’s independence – it is a British obligation and it is the British Government that should carry out that obligation,” said Corbyn.
“You stood steadfast for all these years with your wish to return home, the wish to reunite, to bring your people together whatever their faith, language, religion or background… Surely, our message to the British Government is ‘you signed the Guarantees agreement in 1960, you have a responsibility to bring together the people of Cyprus, a responsibility to guarantee the Cypriot unity and independence.’ Let’s work for it, let’s make sure that we achieve it,” he added.
Referring to Turkey, he spoke of his concern over the government’s response following the failed coup d’ etat. “This time the coup didn’t succeed, but there are big issues here, issues about human rights, justice and freedom of expression and the independence of the judiciary. I can’t be the only person who is very worried that after the failed coup amongst the people arrested are judges and journalists and many other people. This is something that causes me a great deal of concern.”
He also expressed concern over the lack of respect for human rights beyond Turkey and Cyprus, across Europe. “Greece, under deep austerity imposed in large measure by the ECB, barely able to cope, but nevertheless handing out friendship and all support they can to very desperate asylum seekers and refugees. The general response of the rest of Europe, with some exceptions and I pay tribute to Germany and Italy for what they tried to do, has been to put up barb wires and electronic surveillance systems.
”Sorry, these are desperate human beings who must be treated with the respect they deserve. The response to the refugee crisis must be a humanitarian one across the whole continent. If we don’t stand up for human rights now, particularly in the atmosphere of potentially leaving the EU, then I ask myself what kind of rights will people have in 10, 20, 30 or 40 years’ time.”
In his introductory remarks, the President of the Famagusta Association UK Dr Vassilis Mavrou urged the UK Government to look again at moving from the “rhetoric support” for the reunification of Cyprus to “active and constant pressure on Turkey.” He also called for the return of the occupied Famagusta to its lawful inhabitants, according to the relevant international resolutions and as a symbolic and important confidence building measure.
The High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus to the UK Euripides Evriviades said that the ongoing Turkish occupation of Cyprus in “not acceptable”, and referring to the 1974 experience in his country as well as the recent events in Turkey said that all coups are “condemnable” as they attack democracy; and added that democracy is all about how you treat it.
He praised Jeremy Corbyn for his “indefatigable” fight to support the rule of law and democracy and also thanked him for his long-standing support for Cyprus, noting that the Cypriot community’s “heart disc” does not suffer from “memory loss”.
North London Labour MP Kate Osamor urged everyone to keep working hard so that Cyprus is not forgotten. “To forget is a crime,” she said, pledging her own support to the Cypriot cause. She also promised to write a letter of representation on behalf of the Famagusta Association to the new Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
Speaking in Greek, former MP and current London councillor Andrew Dismore noted how the ongoing settlement talks between President Anastasiades and Mr Akinci in Cyprus have renewed hopes and called upon Ankara not to block these negotiations.
Article written by CNA
As UN backed talks between the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to reunite the island under a federal roof continue, Cyprus marks on Wednesday the 42nd anniversary of the 1974 Turkish invasion.
Cyprus pays tribute to all those killed during the invasion, which resulted in the occupation of the island’s northern third.
The political and religious leadership remembers and condemns the continuing illegal occupation of Cyprus’ northern part and holds memorials and other commemorative events in the southern government-controlled areas of the Republic.
Air-raid sirens sounded at 0530 local time (0230 GMT) when the Turkish invasion was launched and Turkish troops landed on the island`s northern shores.
In the morning, a memorial service for army officers and soldiers killed during the invasion takes place at Makedonitissa Tomb in Nicosia, in the presence of President Anastasiades.
A formal church memorial service is held at Faneromeni Church in old Nicosia, to be attended by the President and the political leadership. A series of other anti-occupation events will also take place during the day.
In the evening an event will take place at the Presidential Palace marking the anniversaries of both the coup and the Turkish invasion.
Political parties and other associations and groups have issued statements, condemning the Turkish invasion and the continuing occupation and reiterating their determination to fight for a just and viable solution.
Turkish troops invaded Cyprus on 20 July 1974, following a military coup that toppled the legal government of the Republic which was engineered with the Greek military junta.
In a two-phase invasion and despite repeated calls by the UN Security Council, Turkey occupied 37% of the sovereign territory of the Cyprus. Ankara continues to maintain some 40,000 troops in the northern areas of Cyprus, in complete disregard of appeals for their withdrawal and calls to contribute to a political settlement through peace talks.
The consequences of Turkey’s illegal aggression were devastating and are still felt by the Cypriot people: gross violation of human rights, with hundreds of people still listed as missing, Greek Cypriot refugees in anticipation of a solution that would allow them to return home, enclaved Greek Cypriots being deprived of fundamental rights and the island’s 9,000 year old cultural heritage being pillaged.
Article written by CNA
A builder form Regent’s Park has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 25 years for the rape and murder of a Cypriot teenager 34 years ago.
James Warnock, 56, strangled 17-year –old Yiannoulla Yianni in her own home in Belsize Road on August 13, 1982.
Warnock, who evaded justice for more than 30 years, was caught when his DNA was taken in December last year by Scotland Yard after he was arrested for sharing indecent pictures of children on the internet.
His DNA matched samples taken from the crime scene
In a statement, the family of the murdered teenager said: “For over half a lifetime, we have had to live with the daily torture of what happened to our daughter and sister Lucy.
“All who knew her, loved and adored her. Even through her death she deeply touched those involved in the investigation of her murder. We thank, from the bottom of our hearts, the police both past and present who have worked constantly and tirelessly to bring him to justice, especially those over the last six months. Our love and thanks to all who gave evidence and helped in this trial and to the family and friends who have supported us throughout.
“We now pray that we can move forward with the rest of our lives having some peace in knowing that her killer has been brought to justice and that a very dangerous man is no longer a threat to anyone else.”
Article written by LGR
British Cypriots once again demonstrated in great numbers at the annual ”Rally for Cyprus” in central London on Saturday 16 July, calling upon Turkey to end the 42-year long occupation of the northern part of the island.
The demonstrators gathered outside Turkey’s embassy, where a delegation of the rally’s organisers, the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, led by its President Christos Karaolis delivered a resolution addressed to the Turkish Ambassador.
The resolution condemned the illegal Turkish invasion of 1974 and the ”unlawful and unjust military occupation and colonisation” of the northern part of Cyprus. ”Turkey must now change its intransigent stance on Cyprus and respond with positive actions to encourage progress in the direct negotiations taking place on the island towards a just and lasting settlement,” read the resolution text.
Speaking in front of the Turkish embassy, Mr Karaolis said: ”For 42 years Turkey occupies the northern part of Cyprus. We are here once again to send a message to the Turkish Ambassador and to Turkey, that enough is enough; now is the time for real deeds and not words to resolve to Cyprus issue.”
The Rally outside the embassy was followed by the annual march through central London, with the demonstrators holding Cypriot flags, banners and pickets and calling for a ”Free, United, Cyprus” and for ”Turkish troops to be removed from Cyprus”. GLA Member Andrew Dismore, Cypriot MEP Mr Takis Hadjigeorgiou and the Mayor of the occupied Town of Lapithos Mr. Neoptolemos Kotsapas also joined British Cypriots for the Rally.
Before this year’s Rally, 10,000 leaflets explaining the rights and demands of Cyprus were distributed at 15 central London locations with additional leaflets also distributed during the march.
Following the Rally, a delegation including Rt Hon Theresa Villiers, representatives of the Cypriot Women’s League, the leadership of the Federation, the Cyprus High Commissioner, H.E. Evripides Evriviades, and Greek Ambassador H.E. Konstantinos Bikas, laid a ‘Cyprus’ wreath at the Cenotaph.
Then the Federation President Mr Karaolis handed a letter addressed to the new Prime Minister of the UK Theresa May at the entrance of Downing Street. He was accompanied by the leadership of the Federation as well as the north London Conservative MP and long-standing friend of Cyprus Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers. Mr Karaolis said that the letter congratulated Theresa May on her appointment and urged her ”to make sure that the Cyprus issue would be kept high on the political agenda of the UK.” As the letter to Mrs May pointed out, “you have the power to make a lasting difference in relation to Cyprus and now is the time to exercise this proactively and constructively.”
Theresa Villiers said: ”I have been campaigning for the freedom of Cyprus for 17 years. It is a great tragedy that Cyprus remains divided and I believe that it is crucial to keep on working hard for a negotiated settlement. We have a new Prime Minister in Britain, a whole new Government and a new Foreign Secretary and I will do whatever I can to make sure that Cyprus is high on their agenda. It is important to support the Cypriots to reach a lasting, balanced and just settlement to reunify the island and bring all of its people together once again.”
The President of the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots Andreas Papaevripides pledge on behalf of Cypriots abroad to keep fighting for Cyprus no matter how many years have passed – especially in the UK where the largest Cypriot overseas community lives. ”We will fight more than ever so that our positions are made known to the new UK Government,” he added.
Also at the rally were Federation officers and members of its Executive Bambos Charalambous (Federation Vice-President), Michael Kashis (Federation Vice-President), George Adonis (Federation Vice-President), Ninos Koumettou (Treasurer), Neophytos Nicolaou (General Secretary), Marios Minaides (President, Greek Orthodox Communities of the UK), Antonia Savvides (President, NEPOMAK), Michael Ellinas, Suzy Constantinides (Chair, Organising Committee), Menicos Kouvaros, Tony Vouros and veteran Executive Secretary Andreas Karaolis.
Article written by National Federation of Cypriots in the UK
A number of MPs from the major British parties reaffirmed their commitment to keep supporting Cypriot people and their government in their efforts to reunify their island through a lasting and just settlement of the long-standing Cyprus issue.
In a National Federation of Cypriots in the UK event at the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday evening, ahead of the sad 42nd anniversary of the Turkish invasion and occupation of the northern part of Cyprus, Minister for Europe David Lidington spoke of a “historic opportunity” to reach a settlement.
Welcoming MPs, UK Cypriots and other friends of Cyprus, the Federation President Christos Karaolis said: “What we’re asking for is simple. A just solution based on the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and the High Level Agreements of 1977 and 1979. A fully functioning state that is in line with the EU acquis and EU values and principles and has a single international legal personality and a single sovereignty.”
He added that substantial negotiations on key chapters of the ongoing talks between the Greek Cypriot leader President Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have yet to take place, noting that progress on them “will in large part depend on Turkey’s willingness to remove its army of occupation from the territory of the Republic of Cyprus and on its sincere engagement with the UN-facilitated process with actions and not just words.”
Karaolis highlighted the crucial role of the UK in relation to Cyprus, as well as the fact that the bilateral relations between the two countries are “the strongest they have been for some time.” Noting that following the recent vote for Brexit Cyprus can offer the UK invaluable support to help it negotiate the best possible deal with the EU, the Federation President urged the UK Government and the new Prime Minister “to do more and to use the leverage and the strategic relationship it has with Turkey to exert real pressure, as Turkey holds the key to a solution in Cyprus.”
Lidington, the longest serving Europe Minister in a UK Government, said that we are “on the brink of a historical opportunity” in Cyprus. “I think it would be no exaggeration to say that the chances for an enduring settlement are better now than they were at any time since the period of the aborted Annan plan. And that we have come to this stage is a tribute to the courage of the leaders of both communities.”
He stressed that the political and human prize of a settlement and the reunification of the island would be “enormous” for all parties involved and he praised the “clear and powerful” message of President Anastasiades and Dr Akinci. He noted, however, that the way ahead “is going to require very difficult compromises from both sides”, especially as the talks on pending contentious aspects of the solution will be coming up.
Lidington also commented that “it is not for the UK to come and tell how to find these compromises” as the settlement “must be seen to be led by Cypriots, not being imposed”. Nevertheless, he reaffirmed that the UK does all it can to support the two leaders and the negotiators, as well as Espen Barth Eide in his work on behalf of the UN Secretary-General.
On the subject of bilateral relations following the vote for Brexit, David Lidington said that although it was not what he had been wishing for, the result of the referendum was clear and has to be respected. “Now we have to enrich our bilateral relations with our friends, such as Cyprus, which will remain a fellow member of the Commonwealth. We have an increasingly trusting relation with Cyprus on security and defence and we need to work together to overcome the common security challenges.”
Lidington praised the work of the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus to the UK Euripides Evriviades, describing him as “a real friend and champion of even stronger bilateral relations”.
In his remarks the High Commissioner congratulated the new UK Prime Minister Theresa May and paid tribute to the outgoing PM David Cameron for his role in forging a much closer relationship between the two countries. He then commented that the UK and Cyprus are in “the same strategic boat”. He said: “Cyprus is the dependable, reliable security producer partner in a volatile region.”
Regarding the Cyprus issue Evriviades noted that substantial progress has been achieved in aspects of the chapters of governance, economy, European Union and property, however “fundamental differences still persist” and substantial discussions have yet to take place on the chapters of territory and security and guarantees. He then stressed that President Erdogan’s and Turkey’s contribution “in tangible terms” in the ongoing negotiations is vital. “There is no solution that can be reached without Turkey’s input,” said the High Commissioner.
The long-serving Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale also made a special reference to the need for President Erdogan to adopt a constructive approach to the Cyprus issue. He also reiterated his and his colleagues’ commitment to “stick with Cyprus for as long as it takes.”
Catherine West, a north London Labour MP, said the British parliamentarians will support the settlement process, with her personally pledging to do so for the benefit of the younger generations of Cypriots.
Conservative David Burrowes, who represents the constituency with the most populous Cypriot community in north London, said he “hopes, expects and prays” that we will not be in the same situation next year and that following the EU referendum in the UK he looks forward to a Cyprus referendum on a just settlement.
His fellow Conservative Sheryl Murray from Cornwall described how she realised how important is UK politicians to support Cypriots and the Cypriot government when she saw for the first time last year the beach and the town of Famagusta cut off by barbwire.
Caroline Nokes, Conservative MP for Southampton, said that on the Cyprus issue there is cross party agreement and consensus, while Labour Kate Osamor added that Cyprus must never be forgotten.
Sir Alan Meale, a veteran of the Cyprus cause Labour MP, stressed that the UK has a great responsibility towards Cyprus, and that Cyprus is hugely important to the UK not least because of the military bases on the island and the 300,000-strong UK Cypriot community. He declared his optimism over the prospect of a just solution, saying that “it will come and things will move so fast that we will be wondering why it took so long.”
Sir Alan added that no settlement can be reached without a solution the issue of the missing persons in Cyprus. His words followed this year’s annual picket by the organisation of relatives of missing Cypriots who are based in the UK, outside the Parliament.
Sir David Amess, Conservative, said he is “very optimistic” about a settlement, pledging to keep working with his colleagues in Parliament to support the UN-led process.
MPs Mike Freer, Mark Pritchard and Diana Johnson, as well as Lord Hylton also attended the event.
Article written by CNA
The Greek-Cypriot press core in London hosted a dinner on Monday in honour of his Excellency Konstantinos Bikas (pictured below), Ambassador of Greece in the UK, who after four years of successful service in Britain will depart in a few days to his new post in Tel-Aviv.
Cyprus High Commissioner Euripides Evriviades also attended the function.
Left to Right-Standing: Doros Partasides (RIK),Mary Afxentiou(Parikiaki),Thanasis Gavos (RIK,CNA,SKAI), Michael Yakoumi (Parikiaki), Panagiotis Charalampous (LGR), Jan Manoulides (Distinguished Lawyer) – Seating: John Kyriakides (Executive Director-LGR), Evdoxia Lymperi (ERT), Euripides Evriviades (Cyprus High Commissioner), Konstantinos Bikas (Ambassador of Greece), Kyriakos Tsioupras (Veteran Journalist), Isaac Karypides (Ant1,Astra)
Article written by London Greek Radio
Andreas Leontas a Cypriot finalist walked away as the winner at this year’s X Factor Greek Final which aired on July 8th on Skai channel, which after some years rebooted the franchise for the talent format airing to the Greek public.
In the final which went on for 5-hours third place went to Stereo Soul and then we were left with the last two acts.
Giorgos Theofanous, the X Factor judge, was very buoyant with his two male acts being left in the competition.
The sing-off gave us our finalists Ian Stratis and Andreas Leontas, who gave us their song performances on the night.
Leontas, a Cypriot singer/song-writer born in Nicosia, who eventually piped his rival to the title, performed the song ‘Theos An Einai’. He beat off fellow finalist and subsequent runner-up Stratis who gave us his live version of the song ‘Gorilla’.
He won a record contract which resulted in him signing up to FeelGood Records and was given a car to drive away.
#XFactorGR has been a big part of the Greek television schedule every Friday night since the re-boot series was re-launched in February.
The host Sakis Rouvas again was a returnee, to the franchise.
The long-time judge, Cypriot song-writer Theofanous along with Peggy Zina, Tamta and Onirama lead-vocalist Thodoris Marantinis completed the judging panel line-up.
Backstage hosting was by Evaggelia Aravani.
We all at LGR wish him well and can’t wait to get our hands on his first single! A little teaser reveals his debut song, a definitely up-tempo Pop Laiko, called ‘Protos Rolos’.
Once we have it you’ll be certainly amongst the first to hear it on the LGR air-waves.
Article written by Tony Neophytou