|Saturday, 17 February 2018|
Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-10-12
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 CYPRUS - SLOVENIA - TALKSSlovenian President Danilo Turk has said that the occupation of Cyprus by Turkish troops has to end, noting that Slovenia supports Turkey`s efforts for EU membership as long as Ankara fulfills, as all other candidate countries, criteria for membership.
In statements after talks on Tuesday with President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias, Turk, who is paying a state visit to Cyprus, expressed support to President Christofias` efforts to reach a settlement of the Cyprus problem and to the UN-led negotiations to this end.
Christofias and Turk discussed the Cyprus issue, bilateral relations, EU as well as international issues.
President Christofias expressed Cyprus` support to Turkey`s accession course, noting that this does not mean that the obligations that Turkey has undertaken towards Cyprus and the EU are erased. He noted that Turkey has to contribute with deeds and not words to the settlement of the Cyprus problem.
He also assured that ``from our side we will continue to struggle for a mutually accepted, permanent, viable and functional settlement, in the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, as provided by the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.``
After the talks, Minister of Finance Charilaos Stavrakis and his Slovenian counterpart Franc Krizanic signed an agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of tax evasion between the two countries.
Turk said that ``we in Slovenia have always admired the people of Cyprus and we have always wished all the problems that have been accompanying its development to be resolved.``
``Since 2004, Slovenia and Cyprus are members of the EU. That has provided a common, political and legal framework for our development. We have developed very good political understanding and very good cooperation in all the fields since 2004,`` he said.
He also noted the two countries` commitment to fundamental values, such as human rights and respect for international law, adding that these values guide their work now and will continue to do so in the future.
Turk also said that the two countries` cooperation has increased and that they share the view that they have to make every effort to further strengthen cooperation.
Regarding the agreement signed, he said that ``this is a comprehensive modern agreement which provides a very solid basis for our future cooperation in the economic field.``
He said that he was accompanied by 35 businesspeople who came from Slovenia and that he ``will be looking forward to their decisions and the agreements that they will reach with their partners here in Cyprus.``
``And we would like this visit to be a stimulus for further economic cooperation in the future. We have also devoted attention to the matters of the EU and international relations more generally. In the EU we belong to those new members who appreciate the EU as an inclusive framework, as a political and legal framework, which gives an opportunity to express a voice by every member state of the EU,`` Turk said.
He added that ``the EU is in many ways under construction`` and that ``we know that Foreign and Security Policy requires further work and we are committed to the principle that all members of the EU, large and small, old and new, have to participate in that endeavour.``
``Building a common policy of the EU is a task for us all. And Cyprus and Slovenia have a contribution to make,`` he said.
He also said that they exchanged views on matters which are closer to home and closer to their immediate tasks. ``I have informed President Christofias about our views on the situation in the Western Balkans. We have traditionally worked closely on various issues in that region. We have traditionally also shared views and the same approach to the questions of the Middle East, especially the Palestinian question, and there are many other international issues on which our views are identical or at least very similar,`` he added.
Turk said that he was also informed about the current efforts that President Christofias is making to move the negotiations on the issues of Cyprus forward. ``I am very much appreciative of these efforts and we in Slovenia have traditionally supported the talks led by the UN. We believe that the UN have an historic mission to accomplish. The mission to find a final solution, a solution that would take care of all the outstanding issues and we applaud all those who are making the effort to reach that stage or stage of solution. Obviously there is much work that still needs to be done,`` he noted.
``But the important thing to understand is that there is an historic commitment of the UN to the solution of the Cyprus question, that the EU has been supportive and continues to be supportive of that approach, that there are many in the EU who would like to see further progress and who applaud all the efforts that have been made in this context,`` Turk said.
``Obviously we shall have the opportunity during the remaining time of our visit to look at a variety of questions and possibilities for our further cooperation and looking forward to these opportunities and, as President Christofias mentioned, Slovenia and Cyprus are firm believers in human rights and international law and that provides a very solid basis for our cooperation in the future. So I am optimistic. I am happy to see that President Christofias is optimistic and we hope that this optimism will guide us further,`` the Slovenian President said.
Invited to comment on the fact that Nicosia is the last divided capital in Europe and that for 36 years Turkey, which aspires to become an EU member, occupies part of European territory, Turk said that ``certainly we would like the occupation to end and we would like the political conditions for that ending of the occupation to be established as soon as possible.``
``It is for that reason that I have expressed my support for the efforts that President Christofias is making in this context. I would like to say that like Cyprus, Slovenia also supports the effort of Turkey to become a member of the EU and we, like Cyprus and other members who are supportive, always add that all candidate countries have to fulfill criteria for membership in the EU,`` he said.
He noted that ``there is no such a thing as automatic membership in the EU,`` adding that ``criteria for membership have to be fulfilled.``
``Slovenia has had to fulfill criteria for membership and every other candidate has to do so. We are happy to see that our neighbour country, Croatia, is making very good progress and we hope that that progress will continue and we hope that all countries of Western Balkans will join the EU,`` Turk said.
He stressed that ``we are also hopeful that Turkey will join the EU,`` adding that ``obviously, like every other country, it has to fulfill the criteria for membership and those criteria include also some specific criteria which relate to the specific circumstances to which we referred.``
``I believe that progress is possible in that regard and that we have to work for that purpose. I do not agree with those who would accept the evolution or drift which would take Turkey away from the task or from the objective for full membership in the EU. I think that efforts need to be made to keep that process on track and the fulfillment of criteria as a part of that process,`` the Slovenian President said.
Asked if Slovenia will sign other agreements with Cyprus to enhance economic and trade cooperation, Turk said that ``we have signed an important agreement today and I am sure that in due course further agreements will follow, but that is a step and there will be further steps, not during this visit, but there will be further opportunities for that.``
President Christofias said they had the opportunity to discuss both during their tete-a-tete meeting and during the talks held between the delegations of the two countries all the aspects of their cooperation and ways of further enhancing their bilateral relations in all fields.
``We took note of the important steps of progress that have been made during the last years and we talked about our future cooperation. The further development of our bilateral relations constitutes a common priority,`` he noted.
President Christofias expressed his satisfaction over the signing of the agreement on the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of tax evasion, noting that it is an important development that will give a new momentum to the financial relations of Cyprus and Slovenia and will establish the basis to develop the business cooperation between the two countries.
He also noted the fact that in parallel with Turk`s visit to Cyprus, a business forum between Cyprus and Slovenia is being held.
President Christofias said that their talks covered a broad spectrum of regional and international issues, such as the peace process in the Middle East, climate change and the financial crisis.
He also said that they discussed issues regarding their cooperation in the EU framework as well as issues which concern them as EU states.
``We expressed our commitment and support to the European prospect of the Western Balkans. A development that will help the region and the EU as well, enhancing stability and development,`` he said.
With regard to Turkey`s EU accession course, President said that ``on our part we expressed our support to Turkey`s accession course, we explained clearly that our consistent position on this issue does not mean that the obligations that Turkey has undertaken towards Cyprus and the EU are erased.``
``This support is not unconditional. Turkey has to contribute with deeds and not words to the settlement of the Cyprus problem. It also has to fulfill all of its obligations,`` he pointed out.
President Christofias said that he informed the Slovenian President about ``the efforts we are making for the settlement of the Cyprus problem.``
``I assured him that from our side we will continue to struggle for a mutually accepted, permanent, viable and functional settlement, in the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, as provided by the relevant UN Security Council resolutions,`` he said.
President Christofias noted that the settlement must terminate the occupation and the illegal settling and reunite Cyprus as a single state with a single and undivided sovereignty, a citizenship and an international personality. A settlement must also ensure human rights and the fundamental freedoms of all the people of Cyprus, he added.
He also expressed his appreciation on behalf of the people of Cyprus for President Turk`s support ``to the efforts we are making and constant and consistent position of principles which the Republic of Slovenia follows.``
 CHRISTOFIAS - TURK - DINNERIt is high time for Turkey to help itself and contribute substantially, and not only pay lip service, to efforts towards reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem and to fulfill the obligations it has undertaken vis-a-vis Cyprus and the EU, President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias said in a speech at the official dinner in honour of President of the Republic of Slovenia Danilo Turk, in Nicosia.
President Christofias said that Cyprus supports Turkey`s European course, noting however that ``our honest and consistent stance is not unconditional, and Turkey must understand that EU membership presupposes and requires primarily, that it complies with its obligations.``
He assured that ``on our part we will continue to work with all our strength for a mutually acceptable, permanent, viable and functional solution that will reunite our homeland, end the occupation and colonization, and will safeguard the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of Cyprus as a whole, a bizonal, bicommunnal federal solution, with political equality, as described in the relevant Security Council Resolutions, a solution providing for a single state, with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single international personality.``
President Christofias noted that ``the Republic of Slovenia constitutes an important partner and ally for Cyprus.``
 UK COURT - FLIGHTSEngland`s Court of Appeals dismissed on Tuesday all allegations by companies Kibris Turk Hava Yollari and CTA Holidays Limited, which had appealed against the decision of the Court of First Instance, dated 29 July 2009. The Court of First Instance had dismissed the appeal of the same companies against the rejection by the British Ministry of Transport of an application to be granted permission to carry out direct flights between British airports and the illegal airport of Tympou in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus.
According to a press release issued by the Law Office of the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic, which had intervened in the case as an interested party, had suffered a direct attack against its sovereignty. It also notes that Tuesday`s decision constitutes a significant legal milestone, which safeguards in the most emphatic way the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus regarding its air space.
The companies, arguing that the Republic of Cyprus did not exercise effective control over the whole of the island, said its sovereign rights should be suspended regarding the Turkish occupied areas, that those rights have been transferred and can be used by the puppet regime in the occupied areas, and that the suspension was an expression of the general principle of effectiveness, which says that rights are gained only if they can be effectively exercised.
 FULE - CYPRUS - VISITStefan Fule, member of the European Commission responsible for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, will pay a one-day visit to Cyprus on Thursday.
Acording to an official press release issued here by the European Commissions Representation in Cyprus, during his stay on the island Commissioner Fule will have a series of meetings and will attend the opening of the Limnitis/Yesilirmak crossing point, on the northwest of the island, to facilitate movement to and from the northern Turkish occupied areas of the Republic.
Speaking prior to his visit, Fule said that the European Union is fully behind confidence building measures like the opening of this crossing point and is proud to have contributed with its financial support to a major landmark of the Cypriot pursuit of peace``.
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