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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-03-09

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Exclusive interview: Cyprus president talks to AMNA

  • [01] Exclusive interview: Cyprus president talks to AMNA

    NICOSIA (AMNA - A. Viketos) In the first exclusive interview he has granted since the day of his election, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades spoke to AMNA on Saturday, ahead of his arrival in Athens on Sunday for two days of talks with Greece's state and political leadership.

    In the course of this interview, Cyprus' president emphasised his close personal friendship with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and said his talks in Greece would focus on the economic crisis, energy issues and, of course, the Cyprus problem.

    "At this moment in time we need Greece's experiences in both negotiating and implementing the memorandum [agreements for bailout loans]. We, in turn, offer Greece our own experiences in issues where we are more advanced, such as in the area of hydrocarbons," he said.

    At the same time, he said, the two governments will closely discussed ways of coordinating their action regarding the Cyprus issue, stressing that he did not subscribe to the view that a "non-solution of the Cyprus issue is a solution".

    While noting his opposition to "artificial deadlines" in this process, especially when there were attempts to impose these, he also noted his awareness that simply allowing time to pass without result was harmful for the interests of the Greek-Cypriot side and simply entrenched the division of the island.

    "In this sense, deadlines are created by the facts and we must be taken into account in our planning for solving the Cyprus issue," he added, while pointing out that the dangers were perhaps even greater for the Turkish-Cypriot side, which was threatened with extinction.

    Regarding Cyprus' position on the system of guarantor powers, Anastasiades said this was an anachronism, which had failed to ensure the independence and sovereignty of the Cyprus Republic, and had to be replaced by a new model, though it was premature to say what form this would take.

    The Cyprus president expressed his opposition to employing "extortionist dilemmas" in negotiations for the Cyprus issue, noting that the Greek-Cypriot side had not operated in this way in 2004 and would not do so at present over the issue of natural gas. He also underlined that Nicosia's willingness to participate in talks for a solution was "given" and that Cyprus would respond affirmatively if called by the UN Secretary General to attend a meeting with the Turkish-Cypriot leader.

    He also announced that the process for submitting Cyprus' application to join the Partnership for Peace was already underway.

    On the economic front and signs of capital flight from Cypriot banks of a fears of a 'haircut' for depositors, Anastasiades ruled out all possibility of such a haircut. Quelling such fears and ending such rumours was one of the reasons he gave wanting to sign the memorandum agreements, saying Nicosia aimed to be ready to sign the memorandum as soon as possible and wanted to implement this faithfully, in order to avoid the prospect of a second memorandum.

    Questioned about his statement that cooperation with Greece on all levels "will once again be a foremost political priority," Anastasiades said that this would practically translate into continual contact between the two sides at all levels, starting with himself and Samaras and spreading downward.


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