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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-10-09

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [02] GREEK FM - EU - TURKEY


    Irish President Mary McAleese has expressed strong support for the resumption of a Cyprus process, after the July 8 agreement, and the endeavor that will be made in the coming months to restart the negotiations towards a fundamental settlement of the long-standing political problem of the island.

    Speaking after talks with her Cypriot counterpart Tassos Papadopoulos, President McAleese said we have offered to the President any help that we can give from our own historic experience in peace processes.

    President Papadopoulos, responding to questions, noted that a number of aspects of the Cyprus problem soon enough they are coming to be discussed within the EU, also within the framework of EU Turkey relations and expressed the hope that we will have the support and understanding of Ireland as a member of the EU.

    The European Union remains very interested in the Cyprus process. I think that it is commonly agreed that the right umbrella which Cyprus problem can be solved will be the United Nations but Europe can not be indifferent, the President said, noting that negotiations have to be well prepared and well considered.

    The Cypriot President said that the two countries enjoy friendly relations and cooperate in all the fora they participate and expressed gratitude to Ireland for the immense help it has given to Cyprus over the years with UNFICYP, in which 10.000 soldiers periodically have served on the island as well as for assistance and advice given to many other fields of cooperation.

    In statements, the two Presidents said they had the opportunity to discuss building up the excellent bilateral relations which have moved beyond mere historic friendship into a partnership within the European Union. We are also very conscious of building up our bilateral relationships and we are very pleased that we have a joint initiative, ie on development aid in the tragic country of Lesotho, McAleese added.

    McAleese further said she was honored to be the first Irish head of state to visit Cyprus, a long-standing friend and noted: We understand partition, we understand division, we understand the complexity of peace processes possibly better than any other state in the world, we have a natural mutual empathy.

    The Irish President thanked the President Papadopoulos for the tremendous help that was given during the very recent conflict in Lebanon, when Cyprus of course was almost overnight plunged into the middle of that dreadful situation and coped so incredibly well with people who were displaced overnight including many Irish people who have your government and Mr. President to thank for their easy passage home in very difficult circumstances.

    Referring to the partnership within the EU, the Irish President said we look forward to exploring many of the opportunities that the membership of the Union presents us with, but we are also very conscious of building up our bilateral relationships and we are very pleased that we have a joint initiative ie on development aid in the tragic country of Lesotho.

    As regards the Cyprus issue, she said she heard with great interest to President Papadopoulos putting to context the divided Cyprus preoccupations in terms of building up the peace and building a development process which would allow for the reunification of the island, a bi-zonal, bi-communal and federal Cyprus, a full inclusive settlement through which the right of all the people will be accommodated.

    Concluding, she said that around 60,000 Irish visit Cyprus as tourists every year and return home as ambassadors for Cyprus.

    As regards Saturdays football match, between the national teams of the two countries, which she watched with President Papadopoulos, President McAleese said: I thought you were brilliant, adding that we have been comprehensively beaten by a very skillful and brilliant much better team.

    Certainly I dont know if anybody had ever scored five goals against us in living memory and I am also told that Cyprus has never scored five goals before so it was really good to be here for an epoque meeting, historic night, President McAleese added.

    She concluded we were outclassed, you were two and a half times better than us, and we hope that we will learn from that.

    In July Papadopoulos and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community agreed to talks, between their top aides, with a view to set up technical committees to discuss issues that affect the day to day life of people as well as substantive issues.

    [02] GREEK FM - EU - TURKEY

    Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Dora Bakoyiannis has assured that Athens and Nicosia are closely cooperating on an effective strategy for the next three months, and noted that the EU must, based on European criteria and the acquis communautaire, assess Turkey and its accession course.

    ``Europe must calmly, objectively and based on European criteria and the acquis communautaire, evaluate Turkey and its course,`` she said on Sunday, after meeting in Nicosia with Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos.

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