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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-07-18

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [02] BRYZA - CYPRUS


    The government will do everything it can possibly do to see negotiations on substantive issues of the Cyprus question resume, Minister of Foreign Affairs George Lillikas has said, pointing out however that Nicosia will not, under any circumstances, accept any link between the Cyprus problem and Turkey`s commitments to the European Union.

    Speaking after a working breakfast with his Finnish counterpart and current president of the EU Council of Ministers Erkki Tuomioja, Lillikas said he briefed him on the latest developments, following the agreement between Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat to begin talks on issues that affect the day-to-day life of Cypriots as well as on issues of substance, once these issues are decided on by the end of the month.

    ``We shall be ready very soon to table the list of substantive issues we wish to discuss and our opinion about day-to-day matters,`` he told journalists, adding that he expressed to Tuomioja the government`s expectations for an agreement by the end of July on such issues to enable negotiations to resume.

    Lillikas said the government will do all it can to see this process move forward and prepare the ground for the resumption of talks.

    The Cypriot Minister clarified to Tuomioja that developments in the question of Cyprus are not linked to Turkey`s obligations to the EU, something the Finnish Minister agreed with, noting that the presidency position on this has been made clear in public too.

    The two Ministers also discussed Turkey`s accession course and Lillikas said that the government has supported this but warned that one must not take this support for granted.

    ``It would be bad if Turkey`s accession course were to be suspended but it would be even worse if Turkey were allowed to carry on its accession negotiations with out meeting its commitments,`` Lillikas said.

    The situation in the Middle East was also on the agenda of the two Ministers and Lillikas reiterated the government`s readiness to work in close cooperation with the EU presidency to end this crisis. Tuomioja thanked Cyprus for its efforts and assistance in this direction.

    Lillikas discussed with Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn the progress report on Turkey and agreed that they will meet again on the matter at the end of August or beginning of September.

    EU financial assistance to the Turkish Cypriots and direct trade between the Union and the Turkish Cypriot community were also on the agenda of discussions between Rehn and Lillikas.

    While in Brussels, Lillikas met with Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero Waldner and talked about developments in Cyprus.

    [02] BRYZA - CYPRUS

    The US government`s strategic goals are the achievement of a just and lasting solution of the Cyprus problem and Turkey`s accession to the European Union, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza said here Tuesday.

    "We do all we possibly can to achieve all our strategic objectives. One is a just and lasting Cyprus settlement and the other is Turkey`s accession to the EU. Those processes occur on separate tracks through separate organisations and different processes," Bryza told Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot journalists, at a press conference.

    Regarding his visit here, he said that he came to listen to the views of both sides and get ideas how to move the process forward, reiterating that the US support the UN Secretary General in his effort to achieve a just and lasting settlement on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    He expressed hope that UN Undersecretary General for political affairs Ibrahim Gambari`s recent visit to Cyprus "created an opening for that very thing to happen."

    Bryza added though, "I sense on both sides a real desire to move forward but a real still deep sense of difference on core issues. I also sense a real and serious recognition that this opening under Gambari is real but perishable and needs to be worked out immediately."

    "It seems now that with the formation of the technical committees we have a way forward now with the exchange and finalisation of a list of substantive issues. We have a way ahead in terms of the leaders, President Papadopoulos and Mr. Talat agreeing to get together and keep the process moving forward now. The UN is in the lead and we will support their plan," he noted.

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