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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-10-30

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt has expressed hope that the Cyprus problem is near its solution.

    Speaking during a debate at the Swedish Parliament, Bildt stressed that both the President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat are convinced this might be the last opportunity for the reunification of the island, which has been divided since 1974 Turkish invasion.

    Bildt was responding to a question by MP Maria Weibull-Kornias whether there are reasons for more optimism and whether he shares the belief that the Cyprus issue is currently nearer its solution, considering the islands EU accession in 2004 and the election of President Christofias who set the reunification of Cyprus as his primary target.

    President Christofias and Talat are convinced this might be the last chance to reunify Cyprus, Bild said, adding that he wishes and wants to believe that the Cyprus issue is currently nearer its solution.

    Furthermore, he said that Sweden maintains communication with the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides and both their leaders. He expressed the belief the leaders are the ones who should try for progress in the negotiations process. This, he said, is important for his country in view of the Swedish EU Presidency in 2009.

    MP Weibull-Kornias repeatedly referred during the debate to Cyprus division as a result of the Turkish invasion in 1974 and the presence of 40.000 Turkish troops who maintain the military occupation of Cyprus northern areas.

    The fact that this is happening to an EU member state is unacceptable, Weibull-Kornias said. She also stressed the importance of efforts to promote a democratic and just solution to the Cyprus problem and pointed out that Swedens good relations with Turkey could contribute towards that direction.

    Asked by Weibull-Kornias how Sweden could constructively contribute to the solution of the problem, Swedish FM said his country maintains close communication with the parties involved and other players such as the UN. He expressed the opinion however that the involvement of others, third parties, would not be appropriate for the time being.

    Finally, he said that in the future in view of the consideration of issues that concern the EU, other countries more active approach could be examined. The Cyprus issue is high on the agenda of Swedens foreign policy, he said.

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