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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-05-27

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Problems between the EU and NATO, resulting from differences between Cyprus and Turkey, have to be resolved, a press conference given by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Ashton of Upholland has heard.

    Rasmussen also said that Cyprus, an EU member state, deserves a seat at the table when there is a dialogue between NATO and the European Union.

    The two officials in Brussels met for the first time since Ashton has been appointed to her post.

    NATO sources point out that the conflict between Turkey and Cyprus paralyzes relations between NATO and the EU since Cyprus acceded the Union in 2004.

    Ankara, they add, prevents cooperation on many levels to block the flow of information relating to confidential military operations to the Republic of Cyprus, which Ankara does not recognise. Cyprus, whose northern part is occupied by Turkish troops, blocks Turkeys participation in various European defence operations.

    Asked what new ideas can Rasmussen and Ashton bring to overcome the problems which have hamstrung the relationship between NATO and the European Union for a long time, Rasmussen told the press speaking frankly, maybe a bit bluntly, I see the following way. The European Union must move to accommodate some concerns raised by NATO allies that are not at the same time members of the European Union.

    Firstly, he said, the European Union should include non-EU contributors to their military operations. They should include them in decision-making processes, like NATO does in ISAF format.

    Secondly, Rasmussen continued, the European Union should conclude a security agreement with Turkey. Thirdly, they should conclude an arrangement between Turkey and the European Defence Agency. That`s what needs to be done on the EU side.

    Furthermore, on our side, it should be accepted that Cyprus is actually a country which deserves a seat at the table when we are having a dialogue between NATO and the European Union.

    Concluding, Rasmussen said that`s how I see it politically. I`m not a diplomat, so I put it bluntly to you. The question is how we can move from here to there.

    Ashton did not comment on Rasmussens statement, noting however there is great strength and willingness across both organisations to try and find pragmatic ways of dealing with issues.


    The First Europe-Armenia Advisory Council meeting will be held in Larnaca, on the southern coast, from 28-30 May, it was announced here Thursday, under the chairmanship of Cypriot Euro MP Ioannis Kasoulides, Vice President of the Group of the European Peoples Party at the European Parliament.

    The European Friends of Armenia (EuFoA) is a young non-governmental, non-profit organisation founded in Brussels as an AISBL (Association Internationale Sans But Lucratif) and operating mainly from there across Europe since February 2009.

    EuFoA seeks to build bridges between Armenian and European decision makers in the fields of politics, business and culture, and support Armenia`s further integration into European political, economic, and social structures.

    The meeting will examine EU-Armenia relations and regional issues, including relations between Armenia and Turkey and Cyprus Armenia relations.


    Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou will represent the Republic of Cyprus at the Alliance of Civilisations Forum, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 28-29.

    According to an official announcement, issued here Thursday, on the sidelines of the Forum, Minister Kyprianou will hold contacts with counterparts from other participating countries.


    The second semi-final of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, the 55th annual Contest, will take place on Thursday evening in Teleron Arena in the Norwegian capital Oslo.

    Cyprus participates in the contest with the song Life looks better in spring, performed by Jon Lilygreen and The Islanders.

    In the second semi-sinal, 17 countries will compete for the last ten spots in the grand final on Saturday.

    The Cyprus song Life looks better in Spring is composed by Nasos Lambrianides and Melis Konstantinou and is produced by Jon Gregory and performed by Jon Lilygreen and The Islanders.

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