Cyprus picks new president amid economic doubt, ethnic split
Cypriots are choosing a new president, who they’ll expect to decisively steer the small island nation through shifting geopolitical sands and uncertain economic times that have become people's overriding concern, eclipsing stalemated efforts to remedy the country’s ethnic division.
US diplomat: Mediterranean gas pipeline to Europe not viable
A senior U.S. diplomat says a proposed pipeline to deliver natural gas from deposits in the east Mediterranean to European markets is too expensive, not economically viable and will take too long to help countries seeking alternatives to Russian gas any time soon.
Scientists urge speedy switch to renewables in Middle East
A climate change conference will underscore to policymakers in the Middle East and the east Mediterranean that the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources is needed urgently because greenhouse gas emissions are helping to drive up regional temperatures faster than in many other inhabited parts of the world.
The Latest: Pakistan says no rush to recognize Taliban gov't
Pakistan’s foreign minister says Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers should understand that if they want recognition and assistance in rebuilding the war-battered country “they have to be more sensitive and more receptive to international opinion and norms.”.
EU, Mideast nations look to train at Cyprus security center
The foreign minister of Cyprus says three European Union member nations and three Middle Eastern countries are looking to train personnel in border, customs and cybersecurity techniques at a cutting-edge U.S.-funded facility expected to be ready early next year.
Far-right party, centrist group gain big in Cyprus poll
The far-right ELAM party and a centrist splinter group have made big gains in Cyprus' parliamentary election as a sizeable chunk of supporters appeared to have turned their back on the top three parties amid voter disenchantment with traditional power centers.
Greek Independence Day events culminate in military parade
Military helicopters fly over Acropolis Hill during a military parade in Athens, Thursday, March 25, 2021. Greece celebrates the bicentenary of the start of the country's war of independence against the Ottoman Empire. Unable to watch the parade in person, many Athenians came out onto balconies in the center of the city to watch the flyby, snapping pictures with cameras and mobile phones. AdThis crucial blow enabled the Greeks to fight on and eventually gain independence in 1830. “Two centuries ago, a handful of determined fighters within and outside Greece, raised the banner of independence.
Greece kicks off events for bicentenary of independence war
A worker places a Greek flag at a tribune, ahead of a military parade, in Athens, Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)ATHENS – Greece on Wednesday kicked off two days of celebrations to mark the bicentenary of the start of the country’s war of independence, although events are far more muted than originally planned due to the pandemic. Celebrations are to culminate in a military parade, accompanied by air force overflights, in central Athens on Thursday, Greece’s Independence Day. The 200th anniversary of the start of Greece’s war of independence comes at a time of frosty relations with neighbor and NATO ally Turkey. The Greek independence revolt started in the Mani region of the southern Peloponnese peninsula in 1821 and continued for years without official foreign support, with the Greeks gradually becoming riven by dissent and infighting.
Greece says Turkey's 2-state model for Cyprus a non-starter
Raab pledged support in helping to “break the logjam” that has blocked a peace deal for nearly a half-century, fueled tensions over offshore energy reserves and encumbered Turkey’s relationship with the European Union. Greek Cypriots strongly reject any deal that would legitimize the east Mediterranean island nation’s ethnic partition. AdOnly Turkey recognizes a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence in the island’s northern third where it keeps more than 35,000 troops. Although Cyprus is an EU member, only the Greek Cypriot southern part where the internationally recognized government is seated enjoys full membership benefits. The last push for a peace deal in July 2017 collapsed amid much acrimony.
UN chief to gauge next month possible Cyprus talks restart
Lute is meeting both leaders separately in order to prepare the ground for reunification talks. (Stavros Ioannides/Cyprus' Press and Information Office via AP)NICOSIA – U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres intends to meet next month with ethnically split Cyprus’ rival Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders to gauge whether conditions are ripe to resume dormant peace talks, the Cypriot government spokesman said on Monday. Kyriakos Koushos didn’t provide a specific date for the informal February meeting that will also bring together top officials from Cyprus’ three "guarantors" — Greece, Turkey and Britain. Koushos was speaking after U.N. envoy Jane Holl Lute met with Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades to prepare for the meeting that’s seen as the linchpin to restarting negotiations. Turkey’s research vessels — escorted by warships — continue to search for hydrocarbons in waters where Cyprus claims exclusive economic rights.
The Latest: S Korea reports biggest daily death toll so far
South Korea's previous daily high for COVID-19 deaths was 24, reported on both Dec. 21 and Dec. 22. — Virus deaths in Germany top 30,000; lockdown may be extended past Jan. 10. — China sentences former lawyer who reported virus news to four years in prison. Gavin Newsom is warning of a new surge in coronavirus cases following heavy holiday travel in defiance of recommendations to avoid gatherings. State officials have set a goal for all residents to receive the first dose of the two-dose vaccine by the end of January.
The Latest: Prosecutor: attacker not on intelligence radar
A man prays in the street outside the Notre Dame church in Nice, southern France, after a knife attack took place on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)PARIS – The Latest on a knife attack in Nice, France, (all times local):10:25 p.m.France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor says the Nice attacker, who was born in 1999, was not on the radar of intelligence agencies as a potential threat. The rally came on the day an attacker armed with a knife killed three people inside a church in the French city of Nice. An attacker armed with a knife killed three people in the southern French coastal city Thursday. ___11:20 a.m.An attacker armed with a knife has killed three people at a church in the southern French city of Nice.
After 46 years, Cypriot ghost town's beach opens to public
For the first time in 46 years, members of the public were permitted on Thursday to access the beach of Varosha in the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north of ethnically divided Cyprus. For some, like one woman draped in the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot flags, it was a moment of joy to witness an “historic” moment. For others, like Greek Cypriot Varosha native Kyriakos Charalambides watching on TV from his Nicosia home, it was a moment of bitterness and sorrow. Greek Cypriots fear the beach opening is only a first step to Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots completely taking over Varosha. “How can someone not be upset by what they have seen today?” the Greek Cypriot mayor of Famagusta, Simos Ioannou told the Associated Press.
EU sanctions Belarus over election, gets in-kind response
European Union leaders will be assessing the state of their economy and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on it during their final day of a summit meeting. Russia, in turn, said it would follow Belarus' lead on sanctioning officials in the 27-nation European bloc, while the U.S. Treasury Department announced that it had followed the EU and imposed sanctions on eight Belarus officials. The EU leaders suggested that Lukashenko, once dubbed Europe’s last dictator, could be subject to sanctions later, if he does not enter into talks with his country's political opposition. Cyprus wanted its EU partners to also impose sanctions against Turkey for its energy exploration work in waters where the Mediterranean island nation claims exclusive rights before it would agree to the Belarus sanctions. At the same time, he said EU leaders have left the door open to impose them at their next scheduled summit in December, if Ankara doesn’t cease and desist by then.
Lavrov: Russia ready to help ease Turkey-Greece tension
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, talks as the Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades looks on prior to their meeting at the presidential palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. Lavrov is paying an official visit to Cyprus amid heightened tensions over Turkey's search for energy resources in east Mediterranean waters where Greece and Cyprus claim as having exclusive economic rights. (Iakovos Hadjistavrou/Pool Photo via AP)NICOSIA Russias foreign minister said Tuesday that Moscow is ready to help ease rising tensions over Turkey's search for energy reserves in the eastern Mediterranean. The embargo was directed against the southern, Greek Cypriot part of the island, where Cyprus internationally-recognized government is seated. We believe that Russia is playing a very destabilizing role in the region, especially in Syria, Garber said.
Turkey criticizes US decision to lift Cyprus arms embargo
(Greek Defense Ministry via AP)ANKARA Turkey called on the United States to reconsider a decision to partially lift a 33-year-old arms embargo against Cyprus, saying Wednesday that the move disrupts equality and balance between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities on the ethnically divided island nation. It was directed against the southern, Greek Cypriot part of the island, where Cyprus' internationally recognized government is seated. Cyprus split in 1974 when Turkey invaded following a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Turkey, the only nation to recognize a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence in the island's north, maintains more than 35,000 troops there. Ambassador to Cyprus Judith Garber said the lifting of the embargo strengthens the U.S.-Cyprus security partnership while boosting regional security.
Cyprus: EU partners aim to rein in Turkey's 'expansionism'
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, right, and Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representativeand Vice-Presidentof the European Commission, speak during a joint news conference, in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, July 6, 2020. Unfortunately, we're talking about an agitator that's seeking to dominate the entire eastern Mediterranean and place under its control a number of countries that ring the eastern Mediterranean," Anastasiades said. Cyprus joined the EU in 2004, but only the internationally recognized south enjoys full membership benefits. Cavusoglu held talks Monday with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who traveled in a bid to ease tensions. Turkey's top diplomat said Ankara expects the bloc to act as an honest broker with regard to energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean instead of expressing its backing for Cyprus' rights.
Split Cyprus' rival sides agree crossings' partial opening
As of June 8, Turkish Cypriots who work, study or receive medical care in the south will be permitted to cross through points where vehicles can traverse, Cyprus government spokesman Kyriakos Koushos said. Vehicles can use most of the nine crossing points along a 120-mile (nearly 200-kilometer) U.N.-controlled buffer zone. The announcement came after Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades contacted Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on the same day when most restrictions of a stay-at-home order in the south expired. Turkish Cypriots shut all crossing points a couple of weeks later. Cyprus was split 46 years ago when Turkey invaded following a coup aimed at union with Greece.