Michele's Feed
May 23, 2015

As tensions ease, Cyprus leaders enjoy coffee and cake in capital

NICOSIA (Reuters) – Leaders of rival communities in ethnically-split Cyprus shared coffee and cake on Saturday in a symbolic gesture underscoring a thaw in relations over a conflict spanning decades.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, the Greek Cypriot leader, and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci spent more than an hour strolling through medieval streets of Nicosia, a first in the history of the Cyprus dispute.

May 15, 2015

Cyprus peace talks resume with confidence-building measures

NICOSIA (Reuters) – UN-sponsored talks resumed on Friday after an eight-month stalemate with Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders agreeing to adopt confidence-building measures, in a new drive to settle the island’s decades-old conflict.

Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and his newly-elected Turkish Cypriot counterpart Mustafa Akinci agreed to the measures in parallel to meeting at least twice a month, U.N. mediator Espen Barth Eide said.

May 11, 2015

Cyprus talks resume, ‘unique opportunity’ seen: UN envoy

NICOSIA (Reuters) – Leaders of ethnically split Cyprus agreed on Monday to restart peace talks on May 15, a U.N. envoy said on Monday, offering fresh hope of healing one of Europe’s most enduring frozen conflicts.

Espen Barth Eide was speaking to media after a meeting between Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci. It was their first encounter since Akinci, a moderate leftist, swept to victory in a Turkish Cypriot leadership election on April 26.

May 6, 2015

To protect carob groves, Cyprus recruits owls and snakes

ANOGYRA, Cyprus May 6 (Reuters) – Barn owls and black snakes
are being enlisted in Cyprus to protect carob trees, known on
the Mediterranean island since antiquity and once a flourishing
export but now threatened by urbanisation and rats.

Since April, conservationists at centuries-old groves near
the island’s southern coast have been laying barn-owl nests and
planning reptile nests, primarily for the non-poisonous black
snake. They want to swap poison for natural predators to keep
rat populations in check and prevent damage to the trees.

Apr 28, 2015

Greek, Turkish Cypriot leaders to kick start peace talks

NICOSIA (Reuters) – Greek Cypriots unveiled measures on Tuesday to boost trust across the ethnically divided island, and announced that rival leaders would hold their first meeting in months on May 2.

Peace talks between Cyprus’s estranged Greek and Turkish communities stalled last October, and Saturday’s meeting will be the first since moderate Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci swept to power in elections on April 26.

Apr 28, 2015

Cyprus Central bank head says ready to act if Greece spills over

FRANKFURT/NICOSIA, April 28 (Reuters) – Cyprus is ready to
react to any spillover from the crisis in Greece, the governor
of the island’s central bank said on Tuesday, adding the two
countries were decoupling in the eyes of international markets.

Chrystalla Georghadji’s written remarks, sent on Tuesday in
response to questions from Reuters, underline concerns among
Cypriot policymakers amid heightened uncertainty over Greece’s
future in the euro zone.

Apr 27, 2015

Greek Cypriots say welcome election of Turk Cypriot moderate

NICOSIA (Reuters) – Greek Cypriots welcomed the election of a moderate Turkish Cypriot leader in northern Cyprus on Monday, saying they anticipated a swift resumption of stalled peace talks.

Turkish Cypriot independent Mustafa Akinci swept to victory in presidential elections on Sunday, clinching 60.5 percent of the vote over incumbent conservative Dervis Eroglu. Akinci has pledged to push for a peace deal with Greek Cypriots.

Apr 9, 2015

Black flamingo, possibly unique, spotted in Cyprus

AKROTIRI, Cyprus (Reuters) – An extremely rare black flamingo has been spotted on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, exciting nature lovers who said it may be the only bird of its type ever seen.

The flamingo, seen on the banks of a salt lake on Wednesday morning, is thought to have a genetic condition known as melanism, which causes it to generate more of the pigment melanin, turning it dark, rather than the usual pink color.

Apr 7, 2015

U.N. Cyprus envoy says sees no obstacle to new peace talks

NICOSIA (Reuters) – A U.N. envoy for ethnically split Cyprus said on Tuesday he expected stalled peace talks to resume “within weeks”, following a six-month suspension in a dispute over offshore gas reserves.

Norwegian diplomat Espen Barth Eide said he had met Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders earlier on Tuesday, and they both agreed the “circumstances were now right” for the resumption of negotiations.

Apr 6, 2015

Cyprus lets euro zone’s first capital controls go quietly

NICOSIA, April 6 (Reuters) – Cyprus freed capital flows on
Monday, ending two years of controls that set an unwanted
precedent for the euro zone at the height of the bloc’s debt
crisis.

The Mediterranean nation became the first and, to date, the
only euro zone member to impose controls, acting to stem a
flight of capital from its banks in March 2013.