British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has reiterated the UK’s commitment to Cyprus, saying that it remains rock solid.
“Our commitment to Cyprus remains absolutely rock solid, come hell or high water we are there for Cyprus now and in the future”, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson said, speaking to the press following a meeting here today with the President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades.
Johnson said that he had a very good meeting and a very good conversation with President Anastasiades.
“Really what I said was, on behalf of our government in Britain, how much we congratulate him and his leadership in this question, and really to say that this is a matter we think very much for the people of Cyprus”, he said.
Johnson also said that his government is very impressed by the progress that has been made, adding that “obviously we are here to support, the UK is here to support and to be useful if we can”.
“But what I would also stress is of course that we may be leaving the treaties of the EU but we are in no sense leaving Europe. And our commitment to Cyprus remains absolutely rock solid, come hell or high water, we are there for Cyprus now and in the future.”, he concluded.
Johnson is on the island on a two-day visit. Later on he will meet with the FM Ioannis Kasoulides. He will also have a meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
Johnson’s visit comes at a time of intense diplomatic activity to help resume the UN-led peace talks between Anastasiades and Akinci. Their last meetings, on territory, ended inconclusively as there was no agreement on the criteria of territorial adjustments to help the process move forward.
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AEL of Limassol achieved a great victory on Saturday over Omonia of Nicosia and the League`s leader AEK beat Ermis and remained at the top of the standings. In the framework of match day 12, APOEL faces on Monday at 19:00 Apollon of Limassol in GSP Stadium.
The results of match day 12 are as follow: AEZ-Anagennisi 1-1, Aris-Doxa 4-0, Anorthosis-Karmiotissa 1-0, Nea Salamina-Ethnikos Achnas 1-0, AEL-Omonia 1-0, AEK-Ermis 1-0.
Standings: AEK 31, AEL 27, APOEL 26, Omonia 24, Apollon 22, Ermis 19, Nea Salamina 16, Karmiotissa 14, Anorthosis 14, Ethnikos Achnas 8, Aris 10, AEZ 8, Doxa 6, Anagennisi 2.
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The Greek Cypriot side considers that Cyprus talks must continue at three parallel levels, after the negative outcome of the talks between Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, and Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, in Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, CNA has learned.
According to a well-informed source, the first level concerns the continuation of the discussion on the territorial adjustment criteria, with a view to reach an agreement on them, use them to draft a map and determine a date for a multilateral conference on security and guarantees. In this framework the Greek Cypriot side considers the intention of Greece and Turkey, and more specifically of the Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras and Turkey`s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to hold discussions with a view to prepare the ground for the multilateral conference as a positive step.
The second level concerns discussions on pending issues in all other chapters related to the internal aspects of the Cyprus issue, and the third other related issues which do not however concern the six chapters discussed at the negotiations, as the financial aspects of the solution and the assessment of the banking sector in the Turkish occupied areas, as well as the first day of the solution.
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci held in November two rounds of UN-led talks in Mont-Pelerin on the territory aspect of the Cyprus problem. The UN announced after the end of their talks that despite their best efforts, they were not able to achieve the necessary further convergences on criteria for territorial adjustment that would have paved the way for the last phase of the talks.
Efforts to continue the UN-led peace talks on Cyprus continue this week, with the focal point being the return to the island of the UN Secretary General`s Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide, who had on Monday separate meeting with the leaders. British and US officials will also be visiting the island this week.
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The Cyprus national football squad have joined the Movember movement whose aim is to raise awareness about prostate cancer. The Cypriot players are responding to a call by the Cyprus Football Association and are delighted to give their wholesome support to an incredibly vital cause. By this very generous initiative, they are helping to enlighten others about the disease which affects a large percentage of the male population.
Movember — a portmanteau of moustache and November; also known as No-Shave November — is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches and beards during the month of November to raise awareness of various cancers, such as prostate.
The Cyprus team took part during the training session ahead of the Gibraltar game, their last 2018 World Cup qualifying match this year.
The players sported a fake moustache, conscious how important it was to show their supporting in this island-wide concept, being backed by the official sponsors KEO.
To top it all, Cyprus beating Gibraltar 3-1 only a few days later, a win to earn them their first three points in Group H qualifying.
The Cypriot players Konstantinos Laidis, Pieros Sotiriou and Valentinos Sielis all scored a goal; well done to the boys for the football and setting above all, a very fine example. To helping absolutely the very worthy cause behind Movember campaign throughout the month of November.
Article written by Tony Neophytou
Olympiakos sealed its place in the last 32 of the Europa League and PAOK is close to joining the Reds after scoring an impressive win at Fiorentina on Thursday, while Panathinaikos crashed out as it lost for the fourth time in five games.
PAOK defeated Fiorentina 3-2 in Florence as a spectacular Garry Rodrigues injury-time solo effort capped a great performance for the Thessaloniki club in its first ever victory on Italian soil.
The Greeks led 2-0 via goals by Yevhen Shakhov on the 5th and Djalma Campos on the 26th minute, but the Florence giants equalized 2-2 through goals by Federico Bernardeschi on the 33rd and Khouma Babacar five minutes into the second half.
The Italians put more pressure on the Greeks for a winning goal, but this came at the other end on the third minute of time added-on, as Rodrigues wrong-footed two of its opponents after a great run from the left and as he cut inside he unleashed a great shot for 3-2.
PAOK now needs to better the result that Qarabag has with Fiorentina in Azerbaijan when it hosts Liberec in two weeks’ time.
Olympiakos required just one point to advance to the knock-out stages and got just that on Thursday, drawing 1-1 with Young Boys in Piraeus with a rather lackluster performance.
After a quite boring first half, Costas Fortounis opened the score on the 48th through a direct free-kick. Young Boys responded with a Guillaume Hoarau goal 10 minutes later, but that was not enough for the Swiss.
Both teams missed good chances to win, they both had a goal disallowed as offside, but the result was good enough only for the Greeks. Still, their fans did not forgive their poor performance and booed them of the pitch,m while chanting the name of Chori Dominguez, Olympiakos’s star player who was left out of the squad for one more game by coach Paulo Bento.
The summit of the group will be determined by the APOEL vs Olympiakos game in Nicosia next month, where Olympiakos needs to win to finish first.
Finally Panathinaikos lost 2-0 to a second-string Ajax team in Amsterdam and is certain to finish bottom of its group, having one point from five games.
As usual the Greens had a rather positive start to their game and were denied by the woodwork at Victor’s Ibarbo’s 26th-minute shot, before crumbling for the rest of the match.
Ajax scored the opener five minutes from half-time due to an error of judgment by goalkeeper Luke Steele who let in a Lasse Schone free-kick, and Kenny Tete sealed victory for the Dutch on the 50th after capitalizing on a ball given away by Niklas Hult.
The 3,000 Panathinaikos fans at the stands of Amsterdam ArenA jeered their own players after the final whistle.
The result – the third loss in the last three games in the league and in Europe – is going to increase pressure on Panathinaikos manager Andrea Stramaccioni.
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Apoel suffered a 2-1 defeat away to Astana on Thursday, but the night ended in celebration for the Cypriots as Olympiacos’ 1-1 draw against Young Boys in the group’s other game means they are through to the knockout stages of the Europa League for the first time in their history.
Astana had to come from behind to defeat ten-man Apoel, but the Nicosia club quickly got over the loss after Olympiacos stopped Young Boys from winning, meaning they cannot be caught by the third or fourth-placed sides with one more game still to play.
The game in the Kazakhstan capital was in doubt earlier in the week with temperatures reaching -30 degrees Celsius, but the eventually rose to a modest -8 ahead of kick-off.
The home side got an early foothold on the game and the first good effort on goal came on 25 minutes when Apoel defender Astiz cleared the ball into the path of Astana full-back Shomko who hit a rasping effort with his left-foot which whistled past the post with Waterman helpless.
But just as they did in three of their previous four Europa League group games this season, it was Apoel who took the lead. A long ball out of defence was flicked on by Aloneftis and Efrem, without taking a first touch, hit the bouncing ball with the outside of his left boot which flew into the top corner, for one of the goals of the competition so far.
The joy was short lived however, as Apoel were quickly reduced to ten men. A poor touch from Astiz, allowed Kabananga to intercept and the Spaniard made the hasty decision of bringing him down, leaving the referee no other option but to send him off as he was the last man.
Despite being a player down, Apoel started the second half on the front foot, with De Camargo having an effort on goal before Efrem nearly picked out Sotiriou for what would have been a close-range tap-in
Astana nearly equalised on 57 minutes when Apoel’s Lago slipped in his attempt to clear, presenting Despotovic with a fine chance, but Waterman spread himself well to deny the striker from six yards.
On the hour mark however, the hosts were level. What should have been a routine collection of a harmless corner by Waterman, the Dutchman let the ball slip out of his hands allowing Anicic to equalise from close range.
From then on, it was backs to the wall stuff for the Cypriot side, as Astana piled on the pressure. On 64 minutes, after a free-flowing move, Beysebekov lashed into the side netting.
Astana’s momentum continued to grow, with Kabananga going close minutes later. The Congolese striker again threatened with a sharp volley on the turn with ten minutes remaining, though Waterman appeared to have it covered.
Apoel’s resolve was finally broken on 84 minutes when Shomko’s cross found Despotovic, who edged ahead of Carlao, then hit the post with his first attempt but made no mistake from the rebound.
The defeat was quickly forgotten however, thanks to Olympiacos preventing Young Boys from winning in Piraeus and the fact that the Greeks drew rather than won means Apoel can finish group winners with just a draw when the pair meet in the final group game on 8 December in Nicosia.
Article written by Cyprus Mail
Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has underlined that the Cyprus negotiations have not collapsed, noting that recent developments are just a bump on the road that has been very successful so far.
The Minister made the above statement responding to questions by MPs in the framework of the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, that takes place in Nicosia, on the occasion of Cyprus` Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, between November 2016 – May 2017.
The questions mainly focused on the Cyprus issue, with the PACE MPs asking about the latest UN-led intensive round of peace talks, focusing on territory, between Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, which ended inconclusively this week in Mont Pelerin, Switzerland. The talks aim at reuiniting Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. President Anastasiades has vowed to continue working hard to find a solution.
Replying to the questions, the Minister outlined the reasons of the failure of the two sides to conclude their discussions in Mont Pelerin, noting that if there are internal chapters remaining, it is a bad tactic to move them on to the multilateral conference, because this negates the position that all internal chapters are Cypriot led and of Cypriot ownership.
“So, moving them along with the security issue, which is an external chapter, to the multilateral conference is something that the Turkish side wishes and we do not”, he pointed out.
The Minister said that therefore no date was given for the last and final mile, which would be a multilateral conference between the two communities and at least the three guarantors as stakeholders.
“This is a bump on a road that has been so successful so far. The negotiations have not collapsed”, he underlined, expressing belief that this will be corrected in the coming weeks, since none of the sides contemplates the end of the negotiation.
Kasoulides said that the difficulties that appear have to do with connecting the multilateral conference with the territorial issue, for a give and take phase.
This is wrong, he said, explaining that Cypriots must agree among themselves about all the internal subjects and “then we will deal with the international conference regarding the fate of the security”.
He pointed out that when we talk about security, then both sides have to feel equally secure.
Continuing the unilateral right of intervention of Turkey, which Turkey interprets as military intervention for the future, means that the Turkish Cypriots will feel 100% secure but the Greek Cypriots will feel 100% insecure.
“Both sides must be prepared for a compromise. Our side is prepared to accept a certain period of time at the end of which Cyprus will be totally independent and sovereign and I think on this we can negotiate and have a compromise”, he went on to say.
Asked about the role of the guarantor powers, he said that Turkey at the moment insists on maintaining the treaty of guarantees, which was interpreted by Turkey as meaning right of unilateral military intervention under which and according to them they invaded in Cyprus not to restore the constitutional order, not to maintain the unity and territorial integrity of Cyprus, but they stayed for the last 40 years and “I hope that this time when we will agree they will withdraw”.
He added that Greece is not any longer interested in being a guarantor power, while the UK position is that they will only respond to the requests of both sides and then they will consider ending their participation in a treaty of guarantee for the future.
“One of the role of the guarantors in sitting at the multilateral conference for discussing the chapter of security is to decide about the future of this treaty of guarantee that only one of the participants wishes to continue”, he stressed.
Asked about NATO, the Minister pointed out that when Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades was elected the task of this government was its request to join the NATO program, Partnership of Peace, but Turkey disagreed and “kept us the door shut considering NATO”.
The Minister was also asked about Brexit and US elections outcome. Noting that we have to respect the vote of the people, Kasoulides pointed out the need to remain truthful to our values and principles.He also noted the importance of the Convention of Human Rights of CoE and its guardian which is the European Court of Human Rights. Asked about the huge refugee flows in Greece and Italy, he said that solidarity among the European states is needed.
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President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades held a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May, Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides said on his twitter account.
The conversation focused on the Cyprus talks, according to the Spokesman.
Over the past two days, President Anastasiades has been in touch with various players interested in the UN-led peace effort, aiming to find a negotiated settlement that would reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.
The most recent intensive round of talks, focusing on territory, between the President and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mustafa Akinci ended inconclusively in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The President has vowed to continue working hard towards a solution.
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Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades stressed here tonight that he is determined to make all the necessary steps to help resume the peace talks, he is engaged with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community to find a negotiated settlement which would reunite the island.
Expressing regret at the inconclusive UN-led talks, in Mont Pelerin in the early hours of Tuesday morning, the President said he has no wish at all to enter into a “blame game”, adding at the same time that he would reply to claims which suggest that the failure of the most recent round of talks is due to the stance of the Greek Cypriot side.
Speaking at a televised interview, the President said he merely outlined the facts as these unfolded at the negotiations on territory, which ended inconclusively
“In order to reach a solution which will be accepted by both communities, what has been agreed must be observed and the solution must meet first and foremost the principles and values of international and European law, and must allow a viable, functional and modern European state to operate,” the President said.
Cyprus has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in talks to reunite the country under a federal roof.
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The Greek Cypriot side and the Turkish Cypriot side have not achieved the necessary convergences on criteria for territorial adjustment and are returning to Cyprus to reflect on the way forward, a statement to the press by the UN Spokesperson in Cyprus, issued here tonight, says.
“The Greek Cypriot leader, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Mustafa Akıncı, have been engaged in serious and sustained negotiations over the last two days in Mont Pèlerin,” the UN Spokesperson said.
“Despite their best efforts, they have not been able to achieve the necessary further convergences on criteria for territorial adjustment that would have paved the way for the last phase of the talks,” he added.
“The two sides have decided to return to Cyprus and reflect on the way forward.”
The Special Adviser of the Secretary-General (SASG), Mr. Espen Barth Eide, will bring these developments to the attention of the Secretary-General, the statement concludes.
Gov. Spokesman: We are not willing to enter into a blame game
Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides has said that the Greek Cypriot side does not want to enter into a blame game after the failure of the talks in Mont-Pelerin on the territory issue between Cyprus President Nicos Anastiasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
He noted that the Greek Cypriot side and President Anastasiades are not happy with the way the talks have concluded, noting that after his return to Cyprus, Anastasiades will inform the Cypriot people about the developments and what happened during the negotiations.
Christodoulides said the Greek Cypriot side did not want to play a blame game especially during this difficult evening for Cyprus. Furthermore he rejected and denounced the criticism by the Turkish Cypriot leader`s spokesman Baris Burcu as regards the Greek Cypriot side`s position , noting that it does not in any case respond to what happened at the negotiating table.
Furthermore, he noted that the Turkish Cypriot side`s references to maximalist positions by the Greek Cypriot side do not in any case respond to reality.
Responding to a question, Christodoulides said that the negotiations focused on three basic criteria of the territory issue and there was no specific conclusion, more specifically as regards the criterion related to the return of Greek Cypriots to their ancestral homes as a result of the territorial adjustments.
Efforts were made, views were exchanged, an effort was made by the UN as well, but it was not possible to reach a positive result, he added.
Asked if the Cyprus talks could now be in danger, due to the failure in Mont-Pelerin, Christodoulides said that that it is early to make such assessments and underlined that the Greek Cypriot side is constantly committed to its goal of creating conditions that will pave the way for a positive outcome.
We have one goal, which is to terminate the occupation and reunite our country and we will do everything possible towards this direction, he noted, adding that concrete discussions will be taken after President Anastasiades returns to Cyprus.
Responding to a question, Christodoulides said that the Greek Cypriot side was ready to give a date for a multi-party conference on the issue of security and guarantees if there was an agreement on the territory criteria and a map was drafted based on them.
Christodoulides said that the Greek Cypriot side is not happy at all that due to the Turkish Cypriot side`s stance it was not possible to have an outcome to this “very promising process”, which has produced until now, through very productive negotiations, very positive developments for all the people of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
He noted that the Greek Cypriot side wants more than anyone else to terminate the unacceptable status quo and will do everything possible to achieve this goal, despite any difficulties and problems there may be.
Asked how the process will now move on, he said that President Anastasiades will review the situation and will take concrete decisions.
He said that the Greek Cypriot side is clearly willing and determined to continue the effort to lift the occupation and reunite the country. “This is crystal clear and someone who has been following the developments at the negotiating table during the last 18 months cannot question it,” he noted.
He added that the UN follow the process for 18 months and know very well how the talks have had this outcome.
Christodoulides also said that President Anastasiades will inform Greek Cypriot political parties about what happened at the talks in Switzerland.
Article written by CNA