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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-06-29

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus Minister of Foreign Affairs Markos Kyprianou and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov have discussed the latest developments in the Cyprus issue, on the sidelines of the informal Ministerial meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), held Sunday on the Greek island of Corfu.

    Speaking to journalists, Kyprianou said that he had the opportunity to exchange views with Lavrov on the Cyprus problem.

    I briefed him on the latest decision in efforts to open the Limnitis crossing point and we discussed relations between the EU and Russia, he said, stressing that Cyprus believes that Russia should be an EU strategic partner.

    Asked to comment on reports that by January direct negotiations aiming at a political settlement in Cyprus will be concluded, Kyprianou said that it was too early to say.

    If someone examines the progress achieved so far (in the UN-direct negotiation process), it is impossible to see the process concluded by January, Kyprianou said, stressing that the Turkish Cypriot side is holding the process back by putting forward unacceptable proposals based on a confederation, namely a two state solution.

    This causes a delay and even the simplest issue has to be discussed extensively. If the Turkish Cypriot side becomes more constructive, we can proceed faster, he added.

    Cyprus Foreign Minister stressed that the Greek Cypriot side will not accept any time frames or arbitration.

    On the sidelines of the OSCE meeting, Kyprianou met his counterparts from Croatia Gordan Jandrokovic and Canada Lawrence Cannon and discussed bilateral relations.

    Speaking at the meeting, Kyprianou said it is a very good opportunity to begin an open and constructive dialogue between OSCE partners, on security in Europe.

    Cyprus, as a small state whose security has been violated and which bases its existence on respect of international law and UN, OSCE and EU principles, supports the revision and improvement of Europes security structure, he said.

    President Christofias and Talat have been engaged in direct negotiations since September 2008, with an aim to reunite the island, divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


    The latest developments in the Cyprus issue, relations between Greece and Turkey, Turkeys EU accession course and illegal immigration were discussed during a meeting between Greece Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and her Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu, held yesterday on the sidelines of OSCE informal Ministerial meeting, on the island of Corfu, Greece. The meeting, the first between the two Ministers, took place in a very positive and constructive atmosphere, according to diplomatic sources.

    Bakoyiannis and Davutoglu reiterated their support towards the direct negotiation process between Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, aimed at finding a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem. They also reiterated their encouragement towards the two leaders to continue their efforts.

    With Turkey we are neighbouring countries and we should live together on the basis of well explained principles and values, Greek diplomatic sources said. Davutoglu invited Bakoyiannis to officially visit Ankara and the Greek FM accepted the invitation.


    The negotiating process in Cyprus belongs to the Cypriots and they decide how this will proceed, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has stressed, noting that there still work to be done towards a political settlement. Invited to comment on statements by British High Commissioner to Cyprus, Peter Millett, Stephanou said that we will decide how we will move forward, adding that now we are at a phase in which the leaders of the two communities discuss with their advisers the different negotiating chapters separately and we still have work ahead of us.

    There are no strict deadlines in the process, he stressed, noting that the international community has endorsed the Greek Cypriot sides position that it is unproductive to have strict deadlines and a process of arbitration. Stephanou stressed that the Greek Cypriot side wants a settlement the soonest possible and that it knows that time is not working in favour of the prospect for a settlement. Asked if during discussions on territory there is talk about the return to the Republic of areas now within the boundaries of the British Sovereign Bases on the island, Stephanou said that the two communities in Cyprus are negotiating to reach a comprehensive settlement, adding that each issue is discussed when the right time comes. Britain, a former colonial power, has retained two military bases on the island since Cyprus gained its independence in 1960.

    Asked if a settlement is possible by the end of the year, Stephanou said that we can reach a settlement soon if there is cooperation from everyone. He noted that the Greek Cypriot side is working in view of the evaluation of Turkeys EU accession course, so that the EU and the international community will exert their influence on Turkey to cooperate for a settlement, in favour of the people of Cyprus. Invited to comment on statements by Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, the Spokesman said that the negotiations must take place at the negotiating table and that it is unproductive and not constructive to negotiate in public.

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


    Minister of the Interior Neoclis Sylikiotis has said that Cyprus is deeply concerned about the problem of refugees and displaced people and will continue working to find out practical ways of helping those who are really in need. Speaking at the 12th conference of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM), hosted by the University of Nicosia, in Cyprus from 28 June to 2 July 2009, Sylikiotis said that there is no magic formula for dealing with migration problems and pointed out that Cyprus, although a small EU member state, has shown that it has an important role in shaping EU immigration and asylum policy.

    Sylikiotis said the EU is in the process of introducing a common asylum system which is characterised by transparency and legitimacy, adding that Cyprus believes in further harmonizing asylum legislation. Cyprus has in many cases called on the EU to establish mechanisms within the EU for the resettlement of asylum seekers and refugees. As the Interior Minister pointed out, Cyprus looks forward to seeing further practical and concrete measures towards this objective. ``Cyprus along with other Mediterranean EU member states exerted pressure for the establishment of the European Asylum Support Office that should be located in an EU Mediterranean country, such as Cyprus, said Sylikiotis. Such an office, he added, will be useful both for member states facing problems with an increased volume of asylum applications but mainly for asylum-seekers.

    Recalling that Cyprus faces serious problems with illegal immigration, Sylikiotis said that the Republic does not agree with views that suggest that there is no differences between legal and illegal immigration and argue that immigration is generally a source of problems and instability. Furthermore Sylikiotis said that given the efforts to resolve the political problem of Cyprus, the principles of acceptance of diversity and peaceful coexistence of different cultures are crucial in Cyprus, which is a multicultural society. Most of the illegal immigrants arriving in Cyprus are filtered through the northern Turkish occupied areas of the Republic, where the legal government of Cyprus is prevented from exercising its jurisdiction because of the continuing Turkish military occupation.

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