Friday, March 09, 2007

Cyprus: Nicosia Wall

NICOSIA, Cypus –The Greek Cypriot government dismantled a key concrete barrier that has divided the island's capital Nicosia for decades, challenging Turkey to respond by withdrawing its troops from the area.

Crowds gathered on both sides and welcomed the barrier's removal yesterday but Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos made clear no civilian could cross the so-called Green Line where the barrier had been until Turkey removed its troops.

No immediate comment was available from Turkey, although Rasit Pertev, chief adviser to Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, said: "This is extremely symbolic. ... The dynamism created by this move will lead to the opening of the crossing."
Source: Toronto Star

+ EU pressure led to tearing down the Lokmaci wall in Cyprus

+ Cyprus won’t investigate CIA flights: Cyprus has no plans to investigate how 57 CIA rendition flights carrying terrorist suspects to other countries to be tortured managed to land in Larnaca airport, the government said... EU lawmakers backed a final report concluding a year of investigations into allegations that the CIA secretly held terror suspects in Europe and flew some to states that practise torture.Over 1,200 such flights were carried out in 14 EU countries, including Cyprus.

+ Cyprus HICP inflation falls to 1.2% in Feb
+ Cyprus to deport two Pakistanis held in terror probe
+ ‘Terror suspects’ to be released for lack of evidence
+ Greek Cypriot foreign minister George Lillikas has warned the UK government against its efforts to open Ercan International Airport in Northern Cyprus

The earliest known human settlements on Cyprus date as early as 6000 BC. The abundance of copper on the island brought traders and settlers from all over the east, and a variety of nations ruled from the earliest times. Egypt controlled the island for long stretches of its early history, and some Phoenician traders and colonies popped up as early as the 8th century BC. Egyptian domination passed to Persian control and remained so for 200 years until the rise of Alexander the Great.

+ GENEVA, March 9, 2007 - A Swiss court found a Turkish politician guilty on Friday of denying that mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 amounted to genocide, the first such conviction under Swiss law. Dogu Perincek, head of the leftist-nationalist Turkish Workers' Party, called the branding of the killings as genocide "an international lie" during a speech in the Swiss city of Lausanne in July 2005. Source: Reuters.

Other news:

+ Hassan Abujihaad served on United States Navy destroyer Benfold: Mr. Abujihaad, 31, of Phoenix is accused of supporting terrorism with the intent to kill American citizens and with transmitting classified information to unauthorized recipients. He was arrested and charged in Phoenix on Wednesday, and next he will be transferred to Connecticut, where his case is part of larger investigation of a suspected terrorist network based in Britain. According to the United States attorney’s office in New Haven, the Web site that Mr. Abujihaad contacted was run by Babar Ahmad, a British citizen. In 2004, Mr. Ahmad was indicted by a federal grand jury for arranging the purchase of potential terrorist tools.

Soldiers of the 6-9 squadron, 3rd brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, talk to an Iraqi man with two daughters during a routine patrol just outside Muqdadiyah, Iraq, 90 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad, Friday, March 9, 2007. Associated Press © 2007


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