China ‘committed to working’ with New Zealand to renew ‘longstanding friendship’: Premier Li

ISTANBUL: China is "committed to working" with New Zealand to renew the "longstanding friendship," Premier Li said Thursday as he arrived in Wellington on the first leg of his three nation tour. He was hosted by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and the duo addressed a news conference after the meeting. "We agreed that it's important to expand cooperation on trade and investment. China is ready to be a part of New Zealand's endeavor to double the value of exports in the next decade," Li said, according to Radio New Zealand. Luxon, for his part, said he raised a number of issues that were "important to New Zealand's interests." "This includes issues on which our perspectives differ. China and New Zealand have different political systems and as with all our long standing relationships it is natural that we will raise our differences with China consistently," he said. On challenging economic outlook and the regional and international issues, Luxon said: "China's views and actions on these matters are importa nt and more rather than less direct engagement of China is needed on these issues." He said his discussions with Li also included human rights issues in Xinjiang province, Pacific issues, the South China Sea as well as Taiwan. The Kiwi prime minister said he conveyed the government's desire to see a "de escalation so that there's no miscalculation or accident that would threaten the stability in the region." On the AUKUS nuclear powered submarine pact between the UK, the US and Australia, Luxon said: "We canvassed AUKUS and they (China) raised their concerns and we raised a number of concerns and differences that we have as well, that's the nature of a good long standing relationship, that we should be able to do that respectfully and predictably." This year marks the 10th anniversary of President Xi Jinping's state visit to New Zealand and the establishment of the China New Zealand comprehensive strategic partnership. Late Li Keqiang was the last Chinese premier to visit New Zealand in 2017. The curren t visit aims to strengthen traditional friendship, promote mutually beneficial cooperation, and support common development. Beijing, meanwhile, has announced a visa free policy for New Zealand. The two sides established diplomatic relations in December 1972, and the bilateral trade volume has so far reached $40 billion. Besides Wellington, Li will visit the northern city of Auckland. Li will also pay official visits to Australia and Malaysia, and will co chair the ninth China Australia Annual Leaders' Meeting with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Canberra. Source: Anadolu Agency

President reiterates dedication to create attractive environment for innovation

President Nikos Christodoulides reiterated on Thursday evening the Government's dedication to creating an attractive environment for innovation, which is demonstrated through initiatives supported by the Cyprus Research and Innovation Foundation, and indicated that the Cyprus Institute can be a driving force in this process. President Christodoulides was addressing the Graduation Ceremony of The Cyprus Institute, held at Nicosia Municipal Theatre. In his address, the President who is also Honorary Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Institute, emphasised that Cyprus has been identified as a strong innovator, with a performance above the EU average, recalling that only last week the Cyprus startup ecosystem was identified as the fastest growing, according to the Blink Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2024, ranking amongst the 50 best worldwide. 'These are testaments to the fact that the innovation ecosystem in Cyprus is enhanced by a vibrant start up culture and supportive government policies that promote e ntrepreneurship and technological advancement,' he stressed. Referring to the Cyprus Institute President Christodoulides said that although in existence for less than 20 years, it has achieved unparalleled international distinction and recognition, establishing itself as a regional scientific centre of excellence in research and postgraduate education. 'The Institute has become a centre of excellence in science and technology in fields like the environment, energy, archaeology and computational sciences,' he said, noting that 'the Institute's work in climate change research, for instance, the biggest challenge that we have to face, has not only contributed valuable insights to the global scientific community but also provided critical data for shaping national and regional environmental policies and contributed to the Cyprus Eastern Med and Middle East Climate Initiative'. The President pointed out that over the past decades, Cyprus has transformed itself into a dynamic hub for research and innovation and technological advancement, enhancing its global standing and contributing to a more sustainable and prosperous future, stressing that Cyprus' journey in research and innovation is a testament to the vision and determination of its people and institutions, and also a dynamic sector contributing to the sustainable growth of the country's economy and the diversification of the productive basis. President said that the private sector in Cyprus has also been a key driver of research and innovation as companies in sectors such as information and communications technology (ICT), renewable energy, and pharmaceuticals are investing heavily in Research and Development, leading to the creation of new products and services that are competitive on a global scale. 'These investments not only spur economic growth but also create high-quality jobs and enhance the country's technological capabilities' he noted. And added that education plays a crucial role in sustaining and advancing research and innovation, indicting that the integration of advanced laboratories, research centres, and industry partnerships within academic institutions ensures that students are well-prepared to contribute to the innovation landscape. 'Initiatives to promote STEAM education among younger students are also vital, as they cultivate the next generation of scientists, engineers, and innovators. The digital transformation of schools and the successful integration of the STEAM approach throughout the Curriculum, both in Primary and Secondary Education, is a priority of our Government' he said. In his address President of the Republic said that The Cyprus Institute, has become a European hub of academic excellence and congratulated the Institute's management, the faculty, all the researchers, and support staff for this achievement, which, as he stressed, is an achievement of Cyprus as well. 'Today's ceremony signifies the culmination of your hard work in challenging and rigorous postgraduate programs' President noted, while addressing to the graduate s he told them that with their graduation, they now embark on the main stage of their professional life for the coming decades. 'As you move forward in your lives and your careers, I encourage you to embrace a sense of social responsibility as you explore the new horizons that lie ahead' he told them and expressed hope that they, as the next generation of leading scientists, will contribute greatly to a better world. In his address President of The Cyprus Institute Professor Stavros Malas stressed that in its nearly 20 years of operation, the Institute managed to become a leading international research and educational establishment, adding that the Institute remains fully committed to addressing key scientific, technological, and environmental challenges facing Cyprus and the wider region. Professor Malas also noted that the Institute's strong regional and international partnerships with global research centres, underscore the determination to fostering scientific collaborations across geographical boundar ies. He also recalled that the Institute also provides support to Government departments and to local authorities. Addressing the President of the Republic, Stavros Malas told him he is fully aware of his efforts to implement a program of enriching the mixture of the economy and assured that the scientific community is ready to assist the Government in this direction. At the same time, Professor Malas indicated that regrettably Cyprus has one of the lowest national investments in research, compared to most European countries. 'For this we cannot be proud of' he said, adding that 'we can be proud however of the fact that the Cypriot research establishments demonstrate the best performance in competitive funding in the EU' and that the Institute is top on the list. 'This is a strong message to all of us involved in re-structuring our economy. The way to progress is only one. By investing more in research, innovation and quality education with open mindedness and out-of-box approach, we invest in economic di versity, societal maturity and confidence to navigate through rapidly changing times' he said. To the graduates, President of The Cyprus Institute said that today is a day of formal recognition and celebration of all their efforts and determination to achieve a post graduate degree at The Cyprus Institute. And urged them as they step out into the world to embrace lifelong learning, as education does not end with a degree, but is a continuous journey of growth and discovery. 'The message to you graduates from the Cyprus Institute to continue the journey of education so that you, know your times and act with knowledge' he told them, pointing out that quality education and lifelong learning is the most powerful weapon with which they can make a change in the world. The ceremony was also addressed by Chair of the Board of Trustees, Professor Didier Roux who among other things, told the graduates that success in their professional life will be based in two pillars, first their technical capacity to deliver the results their institution will demand from them, and second, just as important, to be able to participate and contribute to the collective organisation of their establishment. Co-Chair of International Resource Panel, Former European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Janez Potocnik, spoke on the Role of Sustainable Natural Resource Management for 'The future we want'. During the Ceremony, The Cyprus Institute awarded with an Honorary Doctorate former President of the Republic George Vassiliou, that was received on his behalf by his daughter Sofia Vassiliou. Source: Cyprus News Agency

President reiterates dedication to create attractive environment for innovation

President Nikos Christodoulides reiterated on Thursday evening the Government's dedication to creating an attractive environment for innovation, which is demonstrated through initiatives supported by the Cyprus Research and Innovation Foundation, and indicated that the Cyprus Institute can be a driving force in this process. President Christodoulides was addressing the Graduation Ceremony of The Cyprus Institute, held at Nicosia Municipal Theatre. In his address, the President who is also Honorary Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Institute, emphasised that Cyprus has been identified as a strong innovator, with a performance above the EU average, recalling that only last week the Cyprus startup ecosystem was identified as the fastest growing, according to the Blink Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2024, ranking amongst the 50 best worldwide. 'These are testaments to the fact that the innovation ecosystem in Cyprus is enhanced by a vibrant start up culture and supportive government policies that promote e ntrepreneurship and technological advancement,' he stressed. Referring to the Cyprus Institute President Christodoulides said that although in existence for less than 20 years, it has achieved unparalleled international distinction and recognition, establishing itself as a regional scientific centre of excellence in research and postgraduate education. 'The Institute has become a centre of excellence in science and technology in fields like the environment, energy, archaeology and computational sciences,' he said, noting that 'the Institute's work in climate change research, for instance, the biggest challenge that we have to face, has not only contributed valuable insights to the global scientific community but also provided critical data for shaping national and regional environmental policies and contributed to the Cyprus Eastern Med and Middle East Climate Initiative'. The President pointed out that over the past decades, Cyprus has transformed itself into a dynamic hub for research and innovation and technological advancement, enhancing its global standing and contributing to a more sustainable and prosperous future, stressing that Cyprus' journey in research and innovation is a testament to the vision and determination of its people and institutions, and also a dynamic sector contributing to the sustainable growth of the country's economy and the diversification of the productive basis. President said that the private sector in Cyprus has also been a key driver of research and innovation as companies in sectors such as information and communications technology (ICT), renewable energy, and pharmaceuticals are investing heavily in Research and Development, leading to the creation of new products and services that are competitive on a global scale. 'These investments not only spur economic growth but also create high-quality jobs and enhance the country's technological capabilities' he noted. And added that education plays a crucial role in sustaining and advancing research and innovation, indicting that the integration of advanced laboratories, research centres, and industry partnerships within academic institutions ensures that students are well-prepared to contribute to the innovation landscape. 'Initiatives to promote STEAM education among younger students are also vital, as they cultivate the next generation of scientists, engineers, and innovators. The digital transformation of schools and the successful integration of the STEAM approach throughout the Curriculum, both in Primary and Secondary Education, is a priority of our Government' he said. In his address President of the Republic said that The Cyprus Institute, has become a European hub of academic excellence and congratulated the Institute's management, the faculty, all the researchers, and support staff for this achievement, which, as he stressed, is an achievement of Cyprus as well. 'Today's ceremony signifies the culmination of your hard work in challenging and rigorous postgraduate programs' President noted, while addressing to the graduate s he told them that with their graduation, they now embark on the main stage of their professional life for the coming decades. 'As you move forward in your lives and your careers, I encourage you to embrace a sense of social responsibility as you explore the new horizons that lie ahead' he told them and expressed hope that they, as the next generation of leading scientists, will contribute greatly to a better world. In his address President of The Cyprus Institute Professor Stavros Malas stressed that in its nearly 20 years of operation, the Institute managed to become a leading international research and educational establishment, adding that the Institute remains fully committed to addressing key scientific, technological, and environmental challenges facing Cyprus and the wider region. Professor Malas also noted that the Institute's strong regional and international partnerships with global research centres, underscore the determination to fostering scientific collaborations across geographical boundar ies. He also recalled that the Institute also provides support to Government departments and to local authorities. Addressing the President of the Republic, Stavros Malas told him he is fully aware of his efforts to implement a program of enriching the mixture of the economy and assured that the scientific community is ready to assist the Government in this direction. At the same time, Professor Malas indicated that regrettably Cyprus has one of the lowest national investments in research, compared to most European countries. 'For this we cannot be proud of' he said, adding that 'we can be proud however of the fact that the Cypriot research establishments demonstrate the best performance in competitive funding in the EU' and that the Institute is top on the list. 'This is a strong message to all of us involved in re-structuring our economy. The way to progress is only one. By investing more in research, innovation and quality education with open mindedness and out-of-box approach, we invest in economic di versity, societal maturity and confidence to navigate through rapidly changing times' he said. To the graduates, President of The Cyprus Institute said that today is a day of formal recognition and celebration of all their efforts and determination to achieve a post graduate degree at The Cyprus Institute. And urged them as they step out into the world to embrace lifelong learning, as education does not end with a degree, but is a continuous journey of growth and discovery. 'The message to you graduates from the Cyprus Institute to continue the journey of education so that you, know your times and act with knowledge' he told them, pointing out that quality education and lifelong learning is the most powerful weapon with which they can make a change in the world. The ceremony was also addressed by Chair of the Board of Trustees, Professor Didier Roux who among other things, told the graduates that success in their professional life will be based in two pillars, first their technical capacity to deliver the results their institution will demand from them, and second, just as important, to be able to participate and contribute to the collective organisation of their establishment. Co-Chair of International Resource Panel, Former European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Janez Potocnik, spoke on the Role of Sustainable Natural Resource Management for 'The future we want'. During the Ceremony, The Cyprus Institute awarded with an Honorary Doctorate former President of the Republic George Vassiliou, that was received on his behalf by his daughter Sofia Vassiliou. Source: Cyprus News Agency

Trkiye rescues 37 irregular migrants pushed back by Greece

ISTANBUL: Trkiye rescued 37 irregular migrants and apprehended 143 in separate operations, the Turkish Coast Guard announced Wednesday. Twenty migrants, including nine children, were rescued from a life raft pushed back by Greek forces early Tuesday off the coast of southwestern Bodrum and Mugla, said the Turkish Coast Guard. Another 17 migrants, including six children, who were also pushed back by Greek authorities were rescued from a life raft, the statement added. Ankara and global rights groups have repeatedly condemned Greece's illegal practice of pushing back migrants, saying it violates humanitarian values and international law by endangering the lives of vulnerable migrants, including women and children. In Mugla, two more groups were intercepted. The Coast Guard stopped a rubber dinghy off Bodrum, apprehending 33 migrants, including 16 children. Another 35 migrants in a rubber boat, including 13 children, were also apprehended in a separate operation. In Eceabat district in Canakkale province, 2 1 migrants, including five children, were captured on land. Off Kusadasi in Aydin province, 18 migrants were intercepted, including a child and a suspected smuggler. In Urla in Izmir province a rubber dinghy carrying 36 migrants, including 13 children, was stopped. Trkiye has been a key transit point for asylum seekers aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution. Source: Anadolu Agency

Trkiye rescues 37 irregular migrants pushed back by Greece

ISTANBUL: Trkiye rescued 37 irregular migrants and apprehended 143 in separate operations, the Turkish Coast Guard announced Wednesday. Twenty migrants, including nine children, were rescued from a life raft pushed back by Greek forces early Tuesday off the coast of southwestern Bodrum and Mugla, said the Turkish Coast Guard. Another 17 migrants, including six children, who were also pushed back by Greek authorities were rescued from a life raft, the statement added. Ankara and global rights groups have repeatedly condemned Greece's illegal practice of pushing back migrants, saying it violates humanitarian values and international law by endangering the lives of vulnerable migrants, including women and children. In Mugla, two more groups were intercepted. The Coast Guard stopped a rubber dinghy off Bodrum, apprehending 33 migrants, including 16 children. Another 35 migrants in a rubber boat, including 13 children, were also apprehended in a separate operation. In Eceabat district in Canakkale province, 2 1 migrants, including five children, were captured on land. Off Kusadasi in Aydin province, 18 migrants were intercepted, including a child and a suspected smuggler. In Urla in Izmir province a rubber dinghy carrying 36 migrants, including 13 children, was stopped. Trkiye has been a key transit point for asylum seekers aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution. Source: Anadolu Agency

UNFICYP in discussions with government to address humanitarian challenges in buffer zone

The UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, UNFICYP, has issued a statement emphasizing its commitment to maintaining security and calm within the buffer zone, said Spokesperson of UNSecretary General, Stephane Dujarric during the Press Briefing at UNHQ in New York, adding that it is in discussions with the Republic of Cyprus to address the growing humanitarian challenges in the buffer zone 'In collaboration with UN Refugee Agency, the Mission is providing essential humanitarian aid, such as food, water, shelter, and medical assistance, to vulnerable migrants, including women and children," Dujarric said. While acknowledging concerns about irregular crossings, the Mission "stressed the importance of allowing asylum seekers unhindered access to asylum procedures as mandated by National, European, and international refugee laws." "The organization is in discussions with the Republic of Cyprus to address the growing humanitarian challenges in the buffer zone,' he added. Source: Cyprus News Agency

‘Historic day’: Ukrainian president says after signing 10 year security agreement with US

LONDON: After signing a landmark 10 year bilateral security agreement with the US during the G7 summit in Italy, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Thursday said this a "historic day." Zelenskkyy and US President Joe Biden held a joint press conference after signing the deal, marking a significant step in the ongoing efforts to bolster Ukraine's defense capabilities amid the ongoing Russian invasion. Calling Russia a "real global threat," he said: "This is an agreement on steps to guarantee sustainable peace and therefore it benefits everyone in the world." He also underlined that the deal is a "bridge" to Ukraine's membership in NATO. Biden emphasized that a lasting peace for Ukraine is fundamentally tied to the nation's ability to defend itself against current threats and to deter any future aggression. "Lasting peace for Ukraine must be underwritten by Ukraine's ability to defend itself now and to deter future aggression anytime in the future," he said. The announcement comes amid ongoing discus sions among Western leaders about how to ensure a proposed $50 billion loan to Ukraine remains secure against potential policy shifts, particularly in light of the possibility of a future administration led by former President Donald Trump, who has previously expressed skepticism about US involvement in Ukraine. Ukraine has already signed bilateral security treaties with 16 other countries, namely the UK, Germany, Iceland, Denmark, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Portugal, Belgium, Latvia, Finland, Italy, France, Canada, Japan, and the Netherlands. The agreements came as the G7 declared during a NATO summit in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius last July that it is starting negotiations with Kyiv to formalize its "enduring support" for Ukraine through "bilateral security commitments and arrangements." Source: Anadolu Agency

Temperature to rise to 44C on Friday, forest fire risk remains on red alert

An orange warning for extreme maximum temperature was issued by the Department of Meteorology for Friday, which warns that the inland temperature will rise to 44 degrees Celsius, while forest fires warning remains on red alert. The Department of Meteorology issued an orange warning valid from 1100 until 1700 on Friday. It says that inland maximum temperature is expected to rise to around 44 degrees Celsius and around 35 degrees over the highest mountainous areas. It also issued a yellow warning for tonight, which is valid from 2100 today until 0600 tomorrow. The minimum temperature is not expected to fall below 24 Celsius over the highest mountainous areas. Meanwhile, the risk of explosion and expansion of forest fires will remain on "red alert", the Department of Forests said. It noted that lighting a fire without a permit is prohibited and that it constitutes an offense which, according to the Forestry Law of 2012, is punishable by imprisonment of up to 10 years or a fine of up to pound 50,000.00 or bot h penalties together and according to the Fire Prevention in the Countryside Law of 1988 up to 5 years or with a fine of up to pound 20,000 or both penalties together. The lighting of a fire, for preparing food, is only allowed in the grills of the picnic areas. The Department also strongly appealed to the public to be especially careful during their outings, completely avoiding actions and activities that are likely to cause a fire, such as the use of tools or agricultural machinery that produce heat, sparks or flame, such as emery, welding and electric welding. People who notice smoke or fire are urged to call 1407 (Department of Forests) or 112 (Fire Service) immediately. Source: Cyprus News Agency

Temperature to rise to 44C on Friday, forest fire risk remains on red alert

An orange warning for extreme maximum temperature was issued by the Department of Meteorology for Friday, which warns that the inland temperature will rise to 44 degrees Celsius, while forest fires warning remains on red alert. The Department of Meteorology issued an orange warning valid from 1100 until 1700 on Friday. It says that inland maximum temperature is expected to rise to around 44 degrees Celsius and around 35 degrees over the highest mountainous areas. It also issued a yellow warning for tonight, which is valid from 2100 today until 0600 tomorrow. The minimum temperature is not expected to fall below 24 Celsius over the highest mountainous areas. Meanwhile, the risk of explosion and expansion of forest fires will remain on "red alert", the Department of Forests said. It noted that lighting a fire without a permit is prohibited and that it constitutes an offense which, according to the Forestry Law of 2012, is punishable by imprisonment of up to 10 years or a fine of up to pound 50,000.00 or bot h penalties together and according to the Fire Prevention in the Countryside Law of 1988 up to 5 years or with a fine of up to pound 20,000 or both penalties together. The lighting of a fire, for preparing food, is only allowed in the grills of the picnic areas. The Department also strongly appealed to the public to be especially careful during their outings, completely avoiding actions and activities that are likely to cause a fire, such as the use of tools or agricultural machinery that produce heat, sparks or flame, such as emery, welding and electric welding. People who notice smoke or fire are urged to call 1407 (Department of Forests) or 112 (Fire Service) immediately. Source: Cyprus News Agency