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

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] PRESIDENT CHRISTOFIAS BERLUSCONI
  • [02] ITALIAN PREMIER MEETING CHRISTOFIAS

  • [01] PRESIDENT CHRISTOFIAS BERLUSCONI

    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has said that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berslusconi thinks that if Turkey really wants to get modernised and move on with its European course it must overcome the obstacle of the occupation of part of Cyprus by its troops and contribute to a settlement of the Cyprus problem that will be mutually accepted by both communities of the island.

    Speaking after a working dinner he had IN Rome on Tuesday evening with Berlusconi, Christofias, who is paying an official visit to Italy, said that ``we will try to make use of the warm and very good relations that Prime Minister Berlusconi has with (Turkish Prime Minister) Mr. Erdogan and (Turkish President) Mr. Gul. This is his own promise as well and an expression of readiness on his part,`` he added, noting that Berlusconi as well as Italian President Giorgio Napolitano will soon have meetings with Turkish officials.

    Christofias said that Cyprus and Italy will discuss more specifically how the Italian Prime Minister can help towards this direction and they will be in contact. He also expressed certainty that Berlusconi will do his outmost to help both Cyprus and Turkey ``because if Turkey extends its hand to contribute towards a settlement of the Cyprus problem this is for its own interest at the end of the day.``

    Christofias noted that he was very much satisfied from the official part of his visit to Italy, after his meeting with Napolitano and his dinner with Berlusconi. He said that his dinner with the Italian Prime Minister lasted two hours and that this did not happen just like that but because `` the President of the Republic of Cyprus and the Italian Prime Minister Mr. Berlusconi are developing a very good friendly relationship.``

    ``He has welcomed us as friends. We of course discussed issues as the financial crisis and the measures which both our countries are taking to handle it in favour of the people, as well as issues regarding the functionality of the EU and of course we ended up in discussing the Cyprus question which took more time than all the rest,`` he noted.

    As he noted, Berlusconi was interested to know about the course of the direct negotiations on the Cyprus question, and he gave him the opportunity to make a detailed analysis and express his reserved optimism explaining what this means.

    ``Mr. Berlusconi expressed clear positions. He pointed out that if Turkey really wants to get modernised and move on with its European course it must overcome the obstacle called Cyprus, the occupation of the northern part of the Republic of Cyprus, and extend its hand with a view to reach a settlement that will be mutually accepted by both communities,`` Christofias said.

    He also noted that Italy has very good relations with Turkey but also wants to have excellent relations with Cyprus. He added that during his meetings with Napolitano on Tuesday morning and his dinner with Berlusconi, he underlined the cultural ties between Italy and Cyprus, noting that the continuation and the deepening of these relations will surely help the people of the two countries very much.

    Christofias said that they also talked about issues regarding tourism and that Berlusconi expressed his readiness to help in this sector as well.

    Responding to a question he said that ``we have agreed to be in constant contact`` and to ``review the situation again,`` noting that both Berlusconi and Napolitano will have meetings with Turkish leaders soon.

    A press release issued after the dinner said that the working dinner took place in a very friendly and warm climate and the discussion between Christofias and Berlusconi covered a wide range of issues as the bilateral relations, the Cyprus question, the EU-Turkey relations and other issues of common interest.

    It also said that during their discussion they reconfirmed the common will to further develop the relations between the Republic of Cyprus and Italy and decided the closer cooperation and coordination between the two countries in issues of common interest.

    Christofias will visit on Wednesday Perugia were he will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of communication systems in international relations by the University for Foreigners of Perugia.

    He will also visit the Town Hall (Palazzo Prior). A ceremony will be held there during which the Mayor of Perugia will hand over to Christofias the Seals of the Town.

    Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali 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 Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

    [02] ITALIAN PREMIER MEETING CHRISTOFIAS

    Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has expressed satisfaction with the efforts made by the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem. The Italian Prime Minister hosted a working dinner Tuesday evening in Cypriot President Demetris Christofias honor, who is paying an official visit to Italy.

    According to a press release issued by the Italian Prime Ministers Office after the working dinner, discussion with President Christofias focused on the negotiation between Cypriots, the main issues which concern bilateral cooperation and main issues on the international agenda. Prime Minister Berlusconi stressed the firm ties between the two countries, their common European and Mediterranean character, the press release says.

    It is also added that the Prime Minister expressed his satisfaction with the effort made by the leaders of the two communities at the negotiating process and their willingness to insist on that effort. The press release notes that President Christofias reaffirmed his commitment to continue the negotiating process in order to reach an overall solution of the Cyprus problem.


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