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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-06-25

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has said that once the leaders in Cyprus agree on a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus issue the EU will do its utmost to accommodate the terms of a settlement in line with the principles on which the EU is founded.

    Speaking during a press conference here on Thursday, during his one-day visit on the island, Barroso said there is a unique chance this year to solve the Cyprus question that needs to be grasped, noting that he is impressed by the commitment of Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat to achieve a settlement.

    Barroso, who also met during his visit here the UN Secretary Generals Special Representative to Cyprus Taye Brook Zerihoon said he highly appreciates his dedicated work and the efforts of the UN to help the parties to strike a deal

    The European Commission President said he discussed with two leaders the importance of further Confidence Building Measures and that in this context he expressed the Commissions readiness to contribute financially to upgrade a road close to the Limnitis crossing point and encouraged both leaders to find a solution on this issue. I hope a solution will be found soon, Barroso said. He noted that he told the two leaders that the opening of Limnitis crossing point will be a very good signal.

    Asked about Turkeys stance in favour of a settlement providing for two states in Cyprus, Barroso underlined that this is a Cyprus-led process, noting that any agreement will be good if it respects basic EU principles, freedom, democracy and the rule of law. He also stressed that it is important from the European point of view to have a country that speaks with one voice in the EU.

    He also said that in his contacts with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan he always underlines the need for Turkey to have a constructive position on the Cyprus settlement and that both of them told him that this is their position and that they are supporting a positive outcome of this process. And of course we take note of this, Barroso said.

    Asked about the EU team of experts on Cyprus, formed under his presidency, Barroso said the idea is to assist the process by providing technical expertise since in case there is an agreement there will be the need to transpose the acquis communautaire to the northern part of the island, currently under Turkish occupation.

    So we are giving advice in many of those issues. Most of them are technical, legal matters and in fact we have already sent one expert from our team to the group led by Mr. Downer (UN Special Adviser), the UN, and he is available, he said.

    He also underlined that apart from providing help at the technical expert level the European Commission is supporting the process politically. I am here to do that today. We wanted to give that message to the Cyprus people that we care about this and that it is important for the future of Cyprus to achieve a solution, he added.

    Asked if Turkey is expected to open its ports and airports to Cypriot vessels and aircrafts by December Barroso said we have been consistently saying that to our Turkish partners, that they should respect and implement the Ankara protocol. It is not up to me to make a judgment, he noted, adding that it is up to the Turkish side to respect the agreement.

    Responding to another question, European Commission President said it does not mean that the EU does not try to look at the situation objectively because Cyprus is an EU member state.

    Asked if the EU is going to support the process financially he said that in case there is a settlement I cannot no commit specifically but I am sure that we could work with our member states to find some ways to support that process.

    He added that what is important now is not the issue of financing but progress on the political level, noting that there has been some progress but there is still a lot to be agreed.

    Turkey which aspires to become an EU member does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member state since May 2004.

    President Christofias and Talat have been engaged in direct negotiations since September 2008 with a view to reach a settlement of the question of Cyprus, divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.


    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias pointed out on Thursday that the support of the EU and its member states is needed in order to urge Turkey to accept a bizonal bicommunal federation as the basis for a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    In an address at the dinner in honour of the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, who is currently visiting Cyprus, President Christofias noted that the benefits for the Turkish Cypriot community from a reunified Cyprus functioning in full compliance with EU laws and standards will be enormous, adding that there should be no permanent derogations.

    President Christofias said that ``in our first five years in the EU we were lucky to have received the support and guidance of President Barroso in making our first steps as a small country in the complex world of European institutions.``

    ``Inside the EU, even though one of the small members, Cyprus aspires to be present and active in all institutions and to contribute to the internal dialogue, as well as to the joint actions of the Union, which faces many important challenges in various fields,`` he added

    President Christofias expressed appreciation for Barroso`s personal interest and leadership in the problem of Cyprus by means of the Commission`s Cyprus Steering Group, which is responsible for following the progress of the negotiations and for providing whatever assistance may be needed and requested by the negotiating sides.


    Sweden, which takes over the presidency of the European Union on 1st July, believes that the European Union has a significant strategic interest in a solution to the Cyprus issue.

    Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, presenting the priorities and work programme for Sweden`s six month presidency, said that the presidency aims at continuous progress in Turkeys accession negotiations.

    According to the Swedish presidency work programme a solution to the Cyprus issue would greatly spur Turkeys EU integration process.

    Sweden points out that the EU will also be strengthened as a global actor by progress in the enlargement process and has a significant strategic interest in a solution to the Cyprus issue.


    Cyprus House Defence Committee discussed on Thursday at the presence of the Ministers of Defence and Foreign Affairs the issue of the ongoing violations of the Cyprus Republics territorial waters and airspace by Turkish vessels and aircrafts.

    In statements to the press, Defence Minister Costas Papacostas said that Turkeys goal is to create impressions, send messages to all directions and blackmail the Republic of Cyprus.

    He said that the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs take all necessary actions in full coordination with regard to these violations, making representations to the EU and the UN.

    We are following the issue closely and there is no reason for concern from our part, he added, noting that we know the goals and the aims of these actions and we are acting in such a way so that Turkey is exposed and denounced for violating the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus by the way it acts.

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