|Tuesday, 21 January 2020|
Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-04-12
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 PAPANDREOU - CHRISTOFIAS - TALKSGreek Prime Minister George Papandreou has said that Greece, despite the problems it currently faces, continues to firmly support Cyprus in deeds in the efforts to achieve justice on the island.
The Greek Prime Minister, on a working visit here, has stressed that the Cyprus problem is at a crucial turn and praised President Christofias stance in the ongoing UN-led negotiations for a political settlement, asking the Turkish Cypriot side as well as Turkey to respond accordingly.
In his opening remarks, Papandreou, who held this morning a tete-a-tete meeting at the Presidential Palace with Cypriot President Demetris Christofias followed by an extended meeting with the participation of the leaders of the parliamentary parties, noted that the solution of Cyprus must be a Cypriot and a European one.
Both President Christofias and the Greek Premier have described their discussion as extremely useful and said that the solution of the Cyprus problem must be based on a functional and viable federation.
President Christofias said that the presence of the Greek Premier in Cyprus proves the interest of Athens and expressed his gratitude for the continuous support of Greece towards the policy and the handling of Cyprus as regards the Cyprus issue.
He said that the basic precondition for the solution of the Cyprus problem is the change in the stance of the Turkish side.
The Cypriot President underlined his readiness to continue the ongoing UN-led negotiations and talked about the friendly ties and the close coordination between Cyprus and Greece.
He also expressed Cyprus support towards Greece and the economic problem it faces.
In his opening remarks, Papandreou said as I have stressed at the very beginning, we and I personally, are and will always be by the side of Cyprus, the Cypriot government, by the side of the Cypriot people, not with words but in deeds. For me this is a strong belief.
Referring to todays meeting, he described it extremely useful and said that the discussion that followed was fruitful.
I listened carefully to the views of President Christofias and the leaders of the parties regarding the Cyprus talks and development so far. We exchanged views on the prospects of the talks, in the view of the illegal elections in northern Turkish occupied Cyprus, he said.
Pointing out that the Cyprus problem is at a crucial turn, he said that negotiations move forward, we see progress, but unfortunately not to the extent we all would wish.
The negotiation is difficult, hard work, patience and persistence are needed, but above all, political will to achieve an agreement, he continued.
Papandreou said that negotiations must continue so that Cyprus is reunited.
The representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community, he added, must proceed to the negotiating table with a constructive spirit and will for a solution.
He underlined the support of the Greek government to President Christofias efforts for a just, viable, functional, Cypriot and European solution without any artificial timeframes or arbitration and on the basis of the UNSC decisions, the EU principles and values and the full implementation of the EU acquis communautaire.
A solution in the framework of a federal state, with political equality, as defined in the UN relevant decisions for one sovereignty, one international personality, one citizenship, a solution that will bring an end to the Turkish occupation. Those were the principles we reaffirmed today, he went on to say.
Referring to his country, he said that Greece gives its own battle this period but reassured that Athens will continue supporting Cyprus, despite all the difficulties.
During this period, Greece gives its own battle, and I am sure we will come out of it stronger. I would like to thank President Christofias and the Cypriot people as well as the leaders of the political parties in Cyprus for their support, he said.
Papandreou added that despite how difficult this period may be, I would like to assure the Greeks of Cyprus, here, before its political leadership, that Greece remains consistent by their side, ready to offer every possible help.
Cyprus, he continued, must be able to create a prosperous and peaceful future within the EU, without outdated guarantees.
In his opening remarks, President Christofias said that during the meeting they discussed about the Cyprus problem, the course of the Cyprus talks, the problems as well as the prospects for a solution.
I had the opportunity to reassure the Greek Prime Minister that we remain consistent with the strategy we follow since 1977, which aims at the termination of the occupation and the reunification of the country and its people in the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, as defined in the relevant UN resolutions, he stressed.
The Cypriot President said that the solution must not include guarantors and guarantees, must safeguard the unity of the state, its people, its institutions and its economy.
Referring to the Cyprus talks, he said that the Greek Cypriot side proceeds to the negotiations with good will, expecting the same stance from the Turkish Cypriot side.
President Christofias pledged to continue the Cyprus negotiations, saying that this is the only way to reach a solution.
Despite the problems and obstacles we face in our efforts, I underline that we will continue the negotiations. Bicommunal dialogue has always been the way to a solution and we will insist on that, he said.
The basic prerequisite for a solution is the change of the Turkish stance, he said, recalling that Turkey violates the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus as well as the human rights and the fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots.
President Christofias noted that despite its declarations, Turkey does not actually act towards a solution of the Cyprus problem and has not even fulfilled its obligations regarding Cyprus, and continues not to recognise the Republic of Cyprus.
He called on Turkey to respect the UN relevant resolutions and to cooperate for a solution based on principles which will serve the interests of the people of Cyprus.
Those principles are based on the UN resolutions on Cyprus, the principles of international and European law and the High Level Agreements of 1977 and 1979, he added.
Referring to Greece and the economic problems it faces, President Christofias expressed Cyprus full support and said he hoped that Greece would soon overcome all those problems.
In the afternoon Papandreou met the Primate of the Cyprus Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, and then departed for Athens.
Papandreous visit took place after the UN-sponsored intensive round of talks between President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat were interrupted in view of the illegal elections in the areas occupied by Turkish troops since 1974, to take place Sunday.
 INTERIOR MINISTER - SYRIA - READMISSION - ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTSCyprus Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis has discussed the readmission of people who arrive or stay in Cyprus illegally with his Syrian counterpart Said Muhammad Sammour.
Cyprus Interior Minister paid a two day official visit to Syria on 9 to 11 April, at the invitation of Sammour and returned to Cyprus on Monday.
Speaking to CNA, Sylikiotis noted that Cyprus and Syria are very close to sign an agreement on the readmission of illegal immigrants. The agreement is expected to be signed along with another agreement on combating organized crime, during the visit of the Syrian Interior Minister to Cyprus which is expected to be held between September and October 2010.
Referring to his two day official visit, Sylikiotis said that it took place in a very friendly atmosphere and it was characterized by the two sides willingness to strengthen their relation and cooperation.
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