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Cyprus report Cyprus report
by Euro Reporter
2009-10-19 10:11:40
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EU Asylum Office in Cyprus a priority

The establishment of a European Asylum Support Office constitutes a priority for the government, Minister for the Interior Neoclis Sylikiotis said, adding that the government would like to host the headquarters in Cyprus. Sylikiotis, who held a meeting with Swedish Minister of European Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom, said that Cyprus “is the perfect place” to host the headquarters of the Office, being close to an area from which many immigrants arrive in Europe, applying for asylum.

During their meeting, the two Ministers, agreed that the EU should enhance its cooperation with third countries to better manage immigration flows. The Cypriot Minister underlined the need to sign readmission agreements with Turkey and Libya, as outlined in the June 2009 EU Council conclusions.

They also agreed that the EU should continue its efforts for better organizing legal immigration and programmes for integration of immigrants. Sylikiotis expressed the full support of the Republic of Cyprus to the Swedish EU Presidency’s efforts to draft and adopt the Stockholm Programme until the December EU Summit.


Republic of Cyprus commits $8.8 Million to Harvard School

The Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) signed an agreement on October 2, 2009, to strengthen and streamline the existing collaboration between HSPH and the Government of Cyprus, which will provide $8.8 million to HSPH toward a five-year extension of their public health partnership. Since June 2004, HSPH and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus have worked together to build public health capacity in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean region through educational, research and outreach activities.

Under this new agreement, the Cyprus University of Technology has incorporated the Cyprus International Institute for Environmental and Public Health (the CII) into its Faculty of Health Sciences in Limassol, Cyprus. The CII was established in 2005 as part of the original agreement with the Republic of Cyprus to train a new generation of environmental and public health scientists. All current CII programs will become part of the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) and students will be awarded CUT degrees.

HSPH faculty will work with the CUT to realize an ambitious vision of expanding the partnership to continue the existing master's program in environmental health. The first master's degrees in environmental health at the CUT will be awarded in 2010. In addition, plans include the development of two new master's degree programs in epidemiology and biostatistics, as well as health economics and policy, over the next five years. Further, doctoral programs will be initiated at CII in these same areas of study. In the event that the partnership is expanded for an additional 5 years from 2014-2019, there are plans to establish a master's degree in public health, as well.


Benedict XVI to Visit Cyprus in 2010

Benedict XVI will visit Cyprus next June, a communiqué of the country's government announced. The Pope accepted the invitation that the Cypriot president, Demitris Christofias, extended last March 27 when he was received in the Vatican. One of the main topics discussed during that meeting was ecumenical and interreligious dialogue.
In that audience, the president also informed the Pontiff of the condition of numerous Christian churches and buildings in the north of the island, in the area governed by the Turks, which have been destroyed.  Vatican Radio reported that the local Church in Cyprus has received with joy the news of the Papal visit. Archbishop Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Joseph Soueif, Maronite archbishop of Cyprus, and Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custos of the Holy Land, expressed their great delight over this trip of Benedict XVI.
The radio program explained that Cyprus is currently playing an important role in the theological dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox.  In fact, the International Mixed Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church will meet in Cyprus for its 11th plenary session Oct. 16-23. The Church leaders will examine a draft document outlined during a 2008 meeting in Crete. At present, the commission is reflecting on the role of the Bishop of Rome in the communion of the Church in the first millennium -- before the Great Schism of 1054.


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