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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-02-11

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [02] FM - RUSSIA - VISIT


    President Demetris Christofias believes that Turkeys role in the Cyprus question cannot just be confined to giving assurances and that Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat must be left alone to negotiate for a political settlement for the Cypriots.

    Speaking at a ceremony during which he received the credentials of the new Greek Ambassador Vassilis Papaioannou, President Christofias underlined that it is inconceivable to have obsolete systems of guarantees and unilateral interventions that used to be implemented in the past.

    Cyprus must not become a hostage to intransigent policies and strategies, or domestic developments and political balances of Turkey, he said, adding that Cyprus has the right and obligation to act as an independent state on the international scene and shape its future with autonomy within the EU, without the presence of occupation troops and settlers.

    President Christofias noted that the Cyprus question is at a crucial juncture and assured that the government is and will continue to be committed to the search of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, with a single personality, a single sovereignty and a single citizenship, as provided by relevant UN resolutions.

    We are fully aware of the difficulties but we will continue to work firmly to reach a settlement that will derive from the Cypriots for the Cypriots and not for a settlement that will be the result of arbitration or other foreign intervention, he added.

    Christofias said that we have a vision for a settlement that will safeguard the welfare and the progress of citizens, the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right of refugees to return to their ancestral homes and properties. A settlement that will be compatible with international law, UN resolutions and EU principles and values.

    The President said that it is in the EUs benefit for a reunited Cyprus to be able to participate unobstructed in the decision making process, noting that our partners must realize that the EU has a very important role to play with regard to exerting substantive influence on Ankara. The contribution of Greece to this effort of ours remains valuable, he added.

    Underlying that the key for a Cyprus settlement lies in Ankara, he noted that Turkey, as a state that wishes to join the EU, must respect above all its principles and values, as well as the acquis communautaire.

    Cyprus supports Turkeys European prospect but does not give her a blank cheque. We expect from Turkey to show good will, maturity and a spirit of cooperation, abiding by the obligations and commitments it has undertaken towards the EU as a whole. Unfortunately Turkey has not so far made any movement of good will. On the contrary acting through blackmailing, it seems to be trying to secure and gain exchanges from the EU.

    Referring to initiatives taken by the Cyprus government, the President underlined that our side has taken courageous initiatives and we have shown in an explicit way our firm will to work towards this direction, along with our Turkish Cypriot compatriots. A divided Cyprus, he added, has no future. It is indispensable then to create conditions for a viable settlement, to move methodically, build bridges of understanding and dialogue and envisage jointly a common vision as a heritage for the generations that will come.

    Christofias reaffirmed the Cyprus governments policy to continue to show will for dialogue and work constructively to lay the grounds for reunification.

    Once again I state by engagement to work jointly with our Turkish Cypriot compatriots so that the expectations of the people of Cyprus are met. We owe it, anyone, to the future generations that must grow up in conditions of unity, cooperation, and peace in their common homeland.

    Christofias welcomed the new Ambassador, noting that he looks forward to the further deepening of the already excellent and fraternal relations between the Republic of Cyprus and the Hellenic Republic.

    Christofias stressed Greeces support to the struggle of the Cyprus people and expressed appreciation for the long-standing and invaluable contribution of the Greek government.

    The Greek Ambassador assured that the termination of the Turkish occupation and the illegal settling of the islands northern Turkish occupied areas, in the framework of a comprehensive and mutually accepted settlement of the Cyprus question, remains a high priority of the Greek foreign policy.

    Respect of the independence of the Republic of Cyprus, continuous cooperation and coordination between our governments constitute the corner stone of our policy on the Cyprus question, he added.

    He praised President Christofias for his initiatives which resulted in the beginning of the negotiating process, without any tight deadlines or arbitration. He also noted that the UN Security Council decisions on the Cyprus question provide the framework of the settlement that will be in line with Cyprus capacity as an EU member state that implements the acquis communautaire and has joined the Eurozone.

    The Greek Ambassador said that the key of the Cyprus settlement remains in Turkey, from which messages are not so far optimistic.

    Papaioannou said that the Greek government, political parties and the Hellenic parliament support the efforts of the Cyprus government and agree that despite difficulties, negotiations must continue until a comprehensive settlement is reached.

    Furthermore he said that the Greek people, government and political parties are always on the side of the people of Cyprus and that the support of all Greek people is and will continue to be whole hearted, substantial and selfless.

    Christofias and Talat have been engaged in direct talks since September last year with a view to find a settlement to the problem of Cyprus divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.

    [02] FM - RUSSIA - VISIT

    Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Markos Kyprianou praised on Wednesday the principled position the Russian Federation maintains on the Cyprus problem.

    ``The positions of Russia on Cyprus are firm, they are positions of principle and the support of the Russian Federation is granted,`` Kyprianou said in statements before his departure for Moscow where he will meet with Sergei Lavrov, his Russian counterpart, to discuss the ongoing UN-led negotiations between Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat for a political solution.

    Kyprianou said that his visit falls within the framework of consultations the two governments and the two Foreign Ministries have.

    ``The support of the Russian Federation is granted but it is important to have a direct briefing on the various stages of the progress recorded in certain areas (in the Cyprus talks) and the problems where they arise,`` the Cypriot FM added.

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