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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-03-03

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has welcomed the current intensive talks on the Cyprus issue and said that there are possibilities for success even if a lot of work needs to be done and that compromises should be done at the end of the day.

    In statements after meeting on Tuesday Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou who is in Berlin for an official visit, Westerwelle said that a solution demands from all sides boldness, political vision and willingness for compromise and Germany clearly calls all interested parties to show exactly that.

    An official statement said that the UN are playing an important role in the procedure in Cyprus, adding that a solution can only be achieved with the understanding of both sides and negotiations with a constructive spirit on all open matters.

    In his statements, Kyprianou said that Germany is especially sensitive on the Cyprus problem because it was a divided country some years ago.

    Germany has managed to become reunited and surely supports our effort for a positive development for a positive result in the talks in Cyprus. The fact that Cyprus is divided is an unnatural situation and it is something that is contrary to all principles and history. For this reason our side will make every effort to reach a positive conclusion, he added.

    Kyprianou pointed out that that when the talks conclude the procedure will be the result of an agreed solution, which will be able to gain the approval of the people of Cyprus, meaning those who will live with the solution.

    He said there has been some progress in the talks but there are still many difficult chapters, which have not been negotiated.

    What is important, he added, is for a solution not to collapse but to secure a federal, republic of Cyprus, which will be a completely functional EU member.

    He also said he had the opportunity to discuss enlargement issues with his German counterpart, including Turkeys candidacy. A candidate state, Kyprianou added, should fulfill all preconditions to be able to continue the procedure.

    Regarding statements made by Turkeys Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan to Greek Cypriot journalists, Kyprianou said, We welcome every positive step, with caution of course, until we see the implementation of these positions at the negotiating table.

    He said we do not depend on statements and speeches but on positions that are tabled at the talks.

    On his part, Westerwelle said that there is a lot of work that needs to be done, however there is a chance for success. The result, he added, is important not only for Cyprus and Turkey but for the entire EU. We are interested, he said, in the continuation of Turkeys EU course because it is an important motive for the reforms in Turkey.

    At the same time, he called on Turkey to normalize its relations with the Republic of Cyprus.

    Replying to questions, Kyprianou said that the Greek Cypriot side could not accept a solution with the presence of Turkish troops.

    An overall settlement should provide for the withdrawal of troops and it is a fundamental precondition to achieve a solution, he added.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Peace talks began in September 2008 with a view to finding a negotiated settlement to reunite the country.

    In January 2010, President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat conducted two rounds of intensive talks.


    The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will hold a new meeting Thursday in the framework of the negotiating process to find a mutually acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem.

    According to a press release issued by UNFICYP, the meeting will take place at 10 oclock at the official residence of UNFICYP Chief of Mission.

    During their previous meeting, held February 24th, the two leaders discussed the chapter on economy.


    The excellent relations between Cyprus and Belgium have been reaffirmed at a meeting between the Cypriot Minister of Defense Costas Papacostas and his Belgian counterpart Pieter De Crem, who is currently on a visit to the island.

    In statements after their meeting held Wednesday at the National Guard General Staff Headquarters, in Nicosia, Papacostas welcomed the Belgian Minister in Cyprus and added that before coming here De Crem had been in Lebanon, visiting the Belgian troops participating in the UN peacekeeping force in neighboring country (UNIFIL).

    Papacostas wished Belgian Minister to have a pleasant and fruitful stay on the island, noting at the same time that during their meeting they reaffirmed once again the excellent relations between Cyprus and Belgium.

    He also said that he accepted an invitation by De Crem to pay an official visit to Belgium in order to discuss further the issues concerning the two ministries.

    Referring to the fact that Belgium will take over the EU Presidency on 1 July 2010, Papacostas said that Cyprus must have closer cooperation with Belgium in order to gain the experiences needed to assume the European presidency in 2010.

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