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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-06-19

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias has pointed out that the solution of the Cyprus problem depends above all on Turkey, which unfortunately, with its negative stance, does not leave room for a solution.

    The President has assured that ``we, however, do not remain idle, on the contrary we are working intensively to pave the way for a settlement.``

    In an address read out on his behalf by Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou at the 2nd Pan-Karpass Scientific Conference, President Christofias said that ``we are utilising the presence of the Republic of Cyprus in the EU in order to exert influence and pressure on Turkey so that it revises its stance and cooperates for a solution based on UN resolutions.``

    ``It is exactly this that the European Council calls on Turkey to do through its decisions,`` he noted.

    He assured that ``we continue to attend the negotiations with goodwill, realism based on principles, and always consistent with the agreed basis of negotiations,`` adding that, ``if the other side works with the same will and consistency as we do, then the way to the solution can open and we can reach a solution soon.``

    President Christofias pointed out that ``division is a disaster,`` adding that, ``despite the difficulties we are facing, there is no other option than to continue efforts to reach a solution.``

    He said the basis for a solution was the bizonal, bicommunal federation, adding that ``in the context of this solution, the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus can be restored.``

    Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, President Christofias and Dervis Eroglu, are currently engaged in UN-led negotiations, with an aim to reunify the island. In early July, they are to meet with the UN Secretary General in a bid to make headway towards a political settlement.


    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has pointed out that any wealth found in the area of Cyprus belongs to the Republic of Cyprus and its people, adding that the Government`s position was that, through a solution of the Cyprus problem, the termination of the Turkish occupation, and reunification, everyone should benefit, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Replying to questions, Stephanou said that the Government was dealing with the issue of natural gas exploration quietly, adding that the Government continues to work in this sector.

    Asked if the issue of natural gas would possibly affect the course of talks to solve the Cyprus problem, Stephanou said ``we are working to solve the Cyprus problem through negotiations and through the international activity of the President of the Republic and the Government.`` ``The issue of exploiting any wealth found has to do with the interests of the Republic of Cyprus. They belong to the Republic of Cyprus, to our people, and our position is that, through the solution of the Cyprus problem, the termination of the Turkish occupation, and reunification, everyone should benefit, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, the Spokesman added.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus are currently engaged in UN-led talks with an aim to reunify the island. The US company Noble Energy has secured the rights to explore for hydrocarbons in block 12, off Cyprus` southeastern coast.


    British Minister of State, at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Lord Howell has expressed hope that the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, during their talks to reunify the island, will take advantage of the meeting on July 7 in Geneva with the UN Secretary General and the period leading up to it, to work jointly and concretely towards reaching a mutually acceptable lasting settlement. Answering questions in the House of Lords, Lord Howell said ``we lend whatever support we are able to in the hope of bringing the negotiations to a successful conclusion.`` Referring to the Cypriot Presidency of the EU during the second half of 2012, Lord Howell said ``we are confident that it will fulfill its responsibilities under European legislation as it is required to do.``

    ``I do not think we need have worries on that score,`` he said, adding that ``the best thing to do now is to try to build a positive and creative atmosphere in which we can overcome the still considerable range of problems to bring about the end of this island partition and the proper emergence of a bizonal federal Cyprus.`` He noted that ``the EU is putting a considerable volume of funds into northern Cyprus, precisely with the thought that when the happier days come the disparity in incomes will be somewhat overcome.`` ``I have a figure here of 259 million euros, I think for the current year a very considerable sum indeed,`` he said.

    Lord Howell said ``Lord Corbett, who is chairing the Friends of Cyprus, urged the Minister for the UK to continue supporting the UN recommendation that the answer to the problem is a bizonal federal state based on political equality and that any other solution will not work.`` ``The real answer is that, given the active support of the new Turkish government and the Greek government, they should take the lead to encourage the leaders of both communities in Cyprus that a solution is almost a hands reach away if they simply make up their minds to get down to doing this and giving it a try,`` he said.


    Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou will be participating in the EU General Affairs and External Relations Councils, to take place in Luxembourg on June 20 and 21.

    The main aim of the General Affairs Council is to prepare the European Council of June 24. Furthermore, the 18-month programme of the Council for the period from 1 July 2011 until 31 December 2012 will be presented.

    The External Relations Council will focus on the latest developments in the Southern Neighbourhood, the Middle East peace process and the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy. Furthermore, it is expected to discuss the situation in Sudan, Albania and Belarus.

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