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General Information

\"CyprusGeography
The island of Cyprus is situated in the eastern Mediterranean sea, at the crossroads of three continents linking Europe with the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Cyprus has an area of 9.251 square kilometres and is the third largest island in the Mediterranean. Cyprus is in close proximity by air to major cities.  It is one hour away from Athens, Egypt and Israel, two hours from Kuwait, three hours from Moscow and four hours away from London and most European destinations. The strategic location of the island has played an important role in its development into an international business center.


Climate
The island enjoys a pleasant Mediterranean climate with approximately 300 sunny days a year. Summers are hot and dry and last from June to September with August being the hottest month. The winters are mild and last from November to March with January being the coldest month. Temperatures range from 25º-35º C in the summer and 8º-15º C in the winter.

Population, ethnic composition and language
The estimated population of Cyprus is about 800.000, of which 85.7% consists of the Greek Cypriot community, including Armenians, Maronites and Latins, 11.1% of the Turkish Cypriot community whilst the remaining 3.2% is made up of foreign residents. The official languages of the Republic are Greek and Turkish while English is widely spoken.

\"\"History
Because of its position Cyprus has a very rich history with many historical monuments including Hellenic temples, Roman villas, Byzantine monasteries, Venetian castles, etc.

Throughout its long and turbulent history, Cyprus has known many conquerors: the Romans, the Egyptians, the French, the Venetians, the Turks and the British. It was the Greeks, however who came to settle on the island as early as 1300 BC that have had the greatest influence on the culture, the language and religion of the people in Cyprus.

The British were the last to rule Cyprus before the island eventually became a sovereign independent republic in 1960. The one hundred years rule of the island by Britain with the influence of the people visiting for tourism or for business have helped to create a unique blend of Greek and European culture in Cyprus.

Government and administration
The structure of the government is similar to other western democracies where human rights, political pluralism and private property are safeguarded. Under the 1960 Constitution, executive power is vested in a President elected for a five-year term of office by universal suffrage and exercised through a Council of Ministers appointed by him. The House of Representatives is the legislative organ of the Republic. The administration of justice is exercised by the Judiciary, which is a separate and independent body.