|Sunday, 17 December 2017|
Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-10-27
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 AUSTRALIAN FM CYPRUS TALKSAustralian Minister of Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith assured on Monday that his country strongly supports the process for a Cyprus settlement and direct negotiations between the leaders of the two communities, adding that a solution would be in the interests of Cyprus, Europe and the international community.
Speaking after a meeting in Nicosia with his Cypriot counterpart Markos Kyprianou, Smith said Australia has a good bilateral relationship with Turkey and, whilst it cannot tell Turkey what attitude it should adopt, it could discuss with Turkey its attitude and view regarding the Cyprus problem.
Kyprianou said he explained to Smith the great importance that international support has for Cyprus, so that the Turkish side is committed to a bizonal bicommunal federation solution, with a single sovereignty, a single international identity and a single citizenship, adding that, whilst the talks are being held between the two communities in Cyprus, the key continues to be in Ankara and that is why Cyprus is asking friendly countries, which have a good relationship with Turkey, to exert their influence.
Smith said ``Australia and Cyprus have a longstanding warm and friendly relationship,`` adding that ``this is largely a result of Australia having a very strong and very active Cypriot community.``
He noted that Australia strongly supports the process for a Cyprus settlement and that Australia has had officers in the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). ``Currently we have 15 police officers assisting the peace process,`` he added.
Smith said Cyprus and Australia have a very good bilateral relationship and referred to Cyprus` role as an EU member.
He noted that soon he would be signing an Australia-EU partnership framework agreement with his French counterpart, which will see Australia becoming ``much more engaged and involved in Europe, and Cyprus has been very supportive of Australia in this respect.``
Smith pointed out that ``as a single entity, the EU is the largest single capital overseas investor in Australia, so this is important, not only in an historical sense, but also in a trade, economic and investment sense.``
He furthermore referred to the invitation he extended to Kyprianou to visit Australia, noting that ``it has too long since there has been an Australian Foreign Minister in Cyprus and it has been too long since there has been a Cypriot Foreign Minister in Australia.``
``This is the first occasion of a visit by an Australian Foreign Minister to Cyprus since 1994 and so I am very pleased that we have broken that drought,`` he said.
Replying to questions, Smith said ``we very strongly support the UN sponsored peace process and we very strongly support the joint declaration made by the two leaders on May 23, which set the scene for the current negotiations.``
``Whilst it is a matter between the two leaders, the two communities to agree about the outcome, Australia`s role is to say to Cyprus that we strongly support the peace process, we strongly support the UN resolutions, we strongly support the sentiment with which the two leaders have embarked upon this reinvigorated process, and we play our part, not just by making a contribution to the peacekeeping force, but also play our part in the international community, arguing that it is Cyprus` interests for the issue to be resolved, it is Europe`s interests for the issue to be resolved, and it is in the international community`s interests for the issue to be resolved,`` he said.
Smith pointed out that ``it is certainly in Australia`s interests because of the large Cypriot community that we have in Australia, who are intensely interested in progress.``
He added that ``Australia has a good bilateral relationship with Turkey and whilst it is not our role to tell Turkey what attitude it should adopt, certainly as part of our bilateral relationship we will discuss with Turkey its attitude and view to this issue.``
Smith noted that ``in the end the resolution will only be a long term enduring resolution if it is agreed to by the two communities.``
Kyprianou said Australia is ``a friendly country to the Republic of Cyprus since the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus.``
He added that he briefed Smith on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and the direct negotiations, noting that the Australian Minister would be informed in detail on the talks by President of the Republic Demetris Christofias later on in the day.
``I explained the great importance that international support has for Cyprus, so that the other side is committed to a bizonal bicommunal federation solution, with a single sovereignty, a single international identity and a single citizenship,`` Kyprianou said.
He added that the talks are being held between the two communities in Cyprus but ``the key continues to be in Ankara and that is why we are asking friendly countries, which have a good relationship with Turkey, to exert their influence.``
Referring to bilateral relations, he said they are ``excellent,`` adding that ``there are about 100,000 Cypriots living in Australia.``
``The Minister informed me on the development of relations between the EU and Australia, which we warmly and intensely support and at each opportunity encourage the EU to make even bigger openings towards Australia,`` he said.
Kyprianou also said he accepted an invitation to visit Australia to continue talks with Smith and meet with the Cypriot community there.
Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Cyprus President Demetris Christofias is engaged in direct talks with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community to find a negotiated settlement that will reunite the country.
 GAROYIAN EU CYPRUS ISSUEHouse President Marios Garoyian has stressed the need to enhance the role of the European Union in efforts to address the Cyprus issue.
Garoyian was speaking during a meeting with the member of the Famagusta Subcommittee of the Committee on Petitions, at the European Parliament, MEP Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg.
According to an official press release issued here Monday, during the meeting the House President expressed his appreciation to Geringer for her role in the adoption of the latest report on Famagusta of the Committee on Petitions and thanked her for her overall support to the Cyprus case.
 COMMERCE MINISTER EGYPTAntonis Paschalides, Cyprus Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, will visit Cairo, Egypt, from October 27-30, to meet local officials, discuss and investigate the prospects of supplying Cyprus with liquefied natural gas from Egypt.
According to an official press release, the Cypriot delegation comprises the President of the Board of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC), the President of the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (CERA), the Director of the Cyprus Energy Department, and the EAC Generation Operation and Maintenance Manager.
During his visit, Paschalides will meet Egyptian Minister of Petroleum, Sameh Fahmy. At the same time, members of the delegation will meet officials of the Egyptian Holding Company for Natural Gas and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation.
 MILAN CYPRUS EVENTThe Cyprus problem and in particular the destruction of Christian places of worship in the countrys northern Turkish occupied areas were the focus of an event dedicated to Cyprus, which has taken place at the Terra Santa Centre in Milan.
The case for Cyprus was outlined by Italian journalist Giampiero Sandionigi, who elaborated on the situation on the island.
An official press release, issued here, said that during the event, organised by the Terra Santa Cultural Centre, Reverend Umberto Barato, of the Chancery of the Holy Cross Catholic Church in Cyprus, referred to the influence of the Turkish armed forces on the Turkish Cypriot community and denounced the influx of illegal settlers in Cyprus northern occupied areas.
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