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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-10-20

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos discussed in Lahti on Friday with some of his EU counterparts the Finnish proposal which, as he noted, has to do with the manner of implementing the regulation on direct trade with the Turkish Cypriots in combination with the Turkish-occupied fenced-off town of Famagusta.

    In statements after the EU informal heads of state and government meeting held in Lahti, President Papadopoulos said that he had the chance to discuss the Finish proposal with some of the EU leaders on the sidelines of the informal meeting, since the Cyprus question was not on the agenda of the meeting.

    "I had the opportunity to talk with many of my colleagues and explain our positions on the proposal," he said, noting that "we are not negative to an arrangement at the epicenter of which will be the return of the fenced-off town to its legal inhabitants within a determined time frame or under measurable facts that will ensure this return."

    He noted that "the deliberations of the Finnish Presidency concern the way of implementing a regulation for free trade (between the EU and the Turkish Cypriots) in combination with the return of the fenced-off town of Famagusta," adding that "the discussion has no relation with the implementation of Turkey`s obligations towards the EU, it is another separate issue."

    Asked which the main points of the Finnish Presidency`s proposal were, President Papadopoulos said that the Finnish Presidency has various ideas which it continuously discusses and that these ideas are formed depending on the views it receives from the interested countries.

    Invited to say if he was optimistic that an agreement would be achieved, President Papadopoulos said that one could not speak about optimism or pessimism.

    "The conditions set by our side, that Turkey has to fulfill its obligations towards the EU, are explicit. If Turkey is seeking for a pretext or a breakthrough in order to implement the protocol and ratify it, this is an issue between Turkey and the EU," he added, noting that he did not think it was rational for Cyprus to be called on to pay the price for Turkey to implement its own obligations.

    Referring to the issues discussed during the informal meeting, President Papadopoulos said that, regarding the issues of the EU energy policy, many countries wanted a common agreement of all European countries to safeguard the security of the supply, noting however that there were many differences between member states, especially countries which did not have good relations with Russia.

    "Our view is that, despite different views on side issues and as regards the intensity and emphasis every country gives to aspects concerning it, there is a broad field for common policy," he said, adding that these issues will be discussed during tonight`s dinner of the EU25 with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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