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Cypriot leaders to meet on March 21 March 12, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus News, Cyprus Occupied, Politics.
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Newly elected Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will meet on March 21 to try to relaunch talks to reunite the island, a United Nations spokesman said on Wednesday.

“The date of the meeting has been set for March 21st,” Jose Diaz, a spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Cyprus, told Reuters.

Christofias was elected last month, pledging to end a stalemate in talks between the Greek and Turkish communities on the eastern Mediterranean island, which remains a hurdle to Turkey’s aspirations to join the European Union.

Cyprus was divided in 1974, when Turkish troops invaded its northern third in response to a brief coup by Greek-Cypriot extremists at the urging of the military then ruling Greece.

Reunification talks stalled in 2004 when Greek Cypriots rejected a U.N. blueprint, which was accepted by the Turkish Cypriots.The two sides agreed in 2006 to look at an incremental approach to negotiations, but that too has stalled because of disputes over its agenda.

Christofias’s predecessor, Tassos Papadopoulos, last met with Talat in September 2007. The meeting reaffirmed a deadlock in negotiations.

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Pink Floyd live in Nicosia, Cyprus February 25, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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Pink Floyd > Live in Concert > next May 2008 >

at the Nicosia’s International Airport > at the “Green Line” >

Nicosia is the last divided European Capital

more to follow soon, watch out this blog!

UPDATE >>> 10 March 2008

According to http://www.pinkfloydz.com/roger2008/main.htm here are some further news regarding the live appearance in Nicosia, Cyprus >

Cyprus – It’s thought this show was so close to being confirmed it wasn’t funny. However, Roger’s Manager has advised us directly that this show will not now go ahead. There’s still may be a flicker of hope that the promoters will be able to find a major sponser, but at the time of writing, this show is officially dead in the water.

Cyprus Latest We know that many Greek & Turkish Roger Waters fans are desperate to get information about Roger’s possible appearance in Cyprus on 9 May, so we sent our bloodhounds sniffing and here’s what they have come up with. First, Roger will NOT be performing at the Pantheon Art Cinema in Nicosia (as reported by CY Live). It appears this theatre only holds 600 people! We do know that Roger’s tour manager (Andrew Zweck) was in Cyprus at the end of January scouting for possible locations. It seems that Roger is very keen to play in the last divided city in Europe, and Nicosia’s ancient walls (in the buffer zone) was the obvious spot, but sadly that location has too many security problems that could not not be overcome. We know that Andrew Zweck then checked out the GSP stadium [ http://www.gsp.org.cy/GSP%20English.html ] in Nicosia (capacity about 22,000) and that he has approved that. However, the promoters are still seeking sponsors, and the future of this show depends on suitable sponsors being found. So at the time of writing, the best we can offer is that the show is planned, but will only go ahead if suitable sponsors are found. As soon as we get more news, you know where to find it.

Roger In Cyprus A date we can’t officially confirm, but we can tell you that CY Live [ http://www.cylive.co.uk/info.php?id=3 ] have Roger listed as playing the Pantheon Art Cinema in Nicosia – Cyprus on 9 May. More news when we get it.

Dazed & Confused – Pink Floyd In Cyprus Seems the media in Greece & Turkey are getting themselves somewhat confused! There’s been a flurry of stories over the last few weeks about the possibility of Pink Floyd playing there, but on closer examination it seems it’s actually Roger Waters that these stories are referring to. (Ok, we know a lot of you think Roger Waters IS Pink Floyd, but cut us some slack here please!) Now the Cyprus Mail have come out with the following screaming headline ‘Pink Floyd to play the Nicosia wall?’ The story goes on to say that the concert will take place at the Nicosia buffer zone on May 9. Before you email us, we know nothing at all about Roger performing in Greece or Turkey, but you can be assured if we do find out anything, it will appear here in a flash.

http://www.pinkfloydz.com/roger2008/main.htm

It seems, that our sources have been misleading us and we apologise for it. We strongly suggest that you also monitor the news, by visiting the above mentioned link.

Pink Floyd to play the Nicosia wall?

Teenagers are already taking out their black logo t-shirts, while adults of all ages swoon with delight as word goes round that the creative genius of Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, and his band are likely to be arriving in Cyprus this May for a concert like no other.

When rumours started circulating a few days back that they would be giving a concert on the island, no one really believed that these musical legends could possibly have reason to visit. The Pantheon Art Cinema in Nicosia then announced screenings of the cult classic, Pink Floyd: The Wall, and the rumours became rife.

Although no definite confirmation can be made, it is now looking more than likely that the group will be arriving to give a concert in the Nicosia buffer zone on May 9. As one of the most successful rock bands of all time, the London boys achieved worldwide success in the 1970s with the progressive psychedelic rock of The Dark Side of the Moon, followed by the albums Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall.

The organisers of the upcoming event are trying to make sure that details are finalised before they make any official statements. They do, however, confirm that negotiations are currently underway, and that the band should hopefully be playing on the Green Line in a show similar to the one given in Berlin in 1990, less than a year after the destruction of the Berlin Wall. Played to a live audience of 250,000 and a television audience of 500 million in 52 countries across the globe, the show took on historic proportions.

Concerts in Cyprus can sometimes be very risky business and the organisers are keen to make sure that everything is done right before tickets go on sale. When you’re dealing with such a big name as Pink Floyd, the promoters can be sure that thousands will show up, but they also have to be certain that the band is happy with the choice of venue and whole concept of the show.

If such a performance does take place, the one thing we can be sure of is that the ongoing division of the island will most certainly be in the limelight as foreign media will be covering the special event.

Crowds can expect an extravagant show like no other. Renowned for their lavish stage shows, the rock legends will be combining their performance with video footage playing in the background. All Pink Floyd hits will be played as well as all the songs from The Dark Side of the Moon, complemented with 3D effects and laser lights.

For such a small island, Cyprus really hasn’t done badly when it comes to concerts in the past few years. Crowds went mad over Elton John tickets a few years back, Sting drew in plenty of fans a couple of summers ago, and the Bryan Adams gig last June was heaving with overly excitable crowds, while 50 Cent was another surprise concert that had young fans of hip hop and R&B delighted in July.

With fingers tightly crossed, it seems that things are about to get even better with a show not many would ever have imagined experiencing in the capital.

Nicosia Municipality ready for Ledra Street opening November 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus News, Cyprus Occupied.
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Nicosia Municipality is ready to handle the opening of Ledra Street, adding that plans to support the infrastructure of the buildings along the street have already been prepared.

Speaking at a press conference where she presented the work of the Municipality for 2007 as well as its plans for 2008, Nicosia Mayor Eleni Mavrou said that the technical preparations in the event Ledra Street opens are ready, adding that Ledra Street can open in a matter of five days the most.

She said the work to support the infrastructure will be financed by the EU and will take some time, however without endangering the safety of pedestrians while the road will be open for traffic.

Mavrou said there are a total of 275 derelict buildings, some of which pose an immediate danger to pedestrians and the Municipality’s engineers will proceed with their support.
The Nicosia Mayor said that the loan which the Municipality is anticipating to acquire to carry out work to revive buildings along the Green Line, will reach three million pounds.

The National Guard, the island’s army, removed on March 8, 2007, the wall in Ledra Street, which was erected soon after the Turkish invasion in 1974. Nicosia today, is the last divided capital in Europe. The government of Cyprus clarified that the demolition of the wall does not mean the opening of the crossing point to and from the Turkish occupied areas, unless security issues are addressed. In a statement, the members of the Security Council urged both communities to work with the UN to open Ledra Street crossing.

Armenian genocide a fact, just like Turkish invasion of Cyprus November 1, 2007

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The Armenian genocide by Turkey constitutes an unquestionable historical fact, just like the fact that Turkey invaded in 1974 the Republic of Cyprus and still occupies the northern part of its territory, Government Spokesman Vassilis Palmas said last Thursday.

Palmas was invited to comment on the resolution passed by the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs that describes the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Armenians early in the last century as genocide.

“The Armenian genocide by Turkey constitutes an unquestionable historical fact, just as unquestionable is the fact that Turkey invaded in 1974 the Republic of Cyprus and still occupies the northern part of our country,” Palmas said.

Invited to say whether this development would affect the Cyprus issue, Palmas said that one should react with caution and realism. “We should remain cautious and realistic and not consider that the decisions of a Committee of a Body, like the US House of Representatives, would shake or change US-Turkey relations to such an extent that the international political scene would totally change,” he said. The issue, he noted, “concerns mainly Turkey and the US, and the Cypriot government has no other comment to make.”

Cyprus has been divided since July 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

Cypriot Minister condemns destruction of cultural heritage November 1, 2007

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Cypriot Minister of Education and Culture Akis Cleanthous has condemned the destruction of the historical monuments in the Turkish occupied and military controlled areas of Cyprus.

Speaking at the 34rth General Conference of UNESCO, in Paris, Cleanthous said that “today, due to the military occupation, our government does not have access to these sites and monuments, leaving them at the mercy of nature’s elements or worse, at risk of being deliberately destroyed”.

The Cypriot Minster noted that through the ratification in 1979 of the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970) and the ratification, in 2001, of the Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1999), “our government is trying to re-gain access to the archaeological sites and monuments that are in the occupied area in northern Cyprus”.

“There are numerous examples of illegal archaeological excavations as well as trafficking of masterpieces such as Byzantine icons, mosaics, frescoes and other priceless antiquities”, he added. He also said that the archaeological sites and monuments of Cyprus are on the World Heritage list as well as on the European Heritage Label list. “We have achieved high standards in conservation of cultural properties as evidenced by the restoration of the medieval fortifications of Nicosia and a number of churches, mosques, water mills, olive-presses, bridges and houses of traditional architecture”, he added.

As regards the Cyprus problem, the Cypriot Minister said that the Cypriot government is committed to the final settlement of the Cyprus problem. “We constantly trying to find a solution and we hope that through the mutual efforts of both communities in the island we can set an example of peace and reconciliation in order to build new and harmonious relations”, he pointed out.

Referring to the field of culture, Cleanthous said that Cyprus has ratified the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and has set a new strategy, which aims to ensure that the right conditions are present for cultural diversity in Cyprus to flourish and to enhance the status of cultural industries as a significant source of revenue and jobs.

Concluding, he reminded that Cyprus had hosted the first UNESCO Euro-Mediterranean Youth Forum on “Young People and the Dialogue among Civilizations, Cultures, and People” in November 2006, bringing together young delegates from 34 countries from Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Cyprus pulls plug on UK talks October 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Occupied, Politics.
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Cyprus has canceled upcoming talks with Britain in protest over a pact with Turkey it said promotes the war-divided island’s permanent partition, the government said yesterday.

Cyprus’ Government spokesman Vassilis Palmas said talks scheduled for Saturday in London between Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis and a British Foreign Office Minister, Kim Howells, had been called off to underscore Nicosia’s displeasure over last week’s deal. “Ms Marcoullis’s trip to London will not take place,” Palmas told reporters. “Decisions have been made on different levels and more will be made. These decisions and these measures will be made public as they are implemented, unless the government judges that it must act differently.”

The Marcoullis-Howells talks were part of talks between Nicosia and London that began in October 2005 aiming to build trust and promote cooperation between the two countries.

The strategic partnership agreement, announced last week during a visit to London by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, included a reference to northern Turkish-occupied and military controlled Cyprus as the “TRNC,” which stands for the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.” The breakaway state in the north of the divided island is recognized only by Ankara, as opposed to the Greek Cypriot Governmemt which is internationally recognized.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded the Republic of Cyprus, following a failed coup by supporters of uniting the island with Greece. The island remains split between an internationally recognized Republic in the Greek-Cypriot south and the Turkish-Cypriot occupied north. Talks to resolve the division have been stalled since 2004, when Greek Cypriots rejected a UN-backed plan in a referendum. Turkish Cypriots approved the plan in a separate vote.

The Cypriot government in the south also warned that the partnership agreement could hamper settlement prospects. Speaking on state radio yesterday, Minister Kozakou-Marcoullis called the Turkish-British agreement “unacceptable.” London had said its policy toward northern Cyprus was unchanged and it did not seek to promote partition.

Athens chides British diplomat October 26, 2007

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British Ambassador Simon Gass was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Athens yesterday as Greece made clear its displeasure with London’s decision to sign a strategic partnership agreement with Turkey that referred to the occupied part of Cyprus as the “TRNC” or “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.”

The agreement has provoked the anger of both Athens and Nicosia, as only Turkey recognizes this part of Cyprus as a self-proclaimed state.

Foreign Ministry General Secretary Aristidis Agathoklis told Gass, according to sources, that this sort of move was not helpful at a time when the two sides in Cyprus are attempting to restart reunification talks.

The British ambassador insisted that London had no intention of recognizing any other authority than the government in Nicosia and that it fully backed an effort to solve the island’s division as soon as possible.

Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos described the contents of the agreement signed by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan as being “a very unfavorable development.” “Britain’s policy has always been the same but it is only now that it is being revealed,” said Papadopoulos.

Cypriot government spokesman Vassilis Palmas reminded Britain that the presence of British military bases on the island is founded on the principle of reciprocity.