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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-04-12

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] ̀INISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS - INTERVIEW WITH CNA

  • [01] ̀INISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS - INTERVIEW WITH CNA

    Minister of Foreign Affairs, Markos Kyprianou appears cautious about developments in Cyprus in 2008, saying that lessons have been learnt from past mistakes in 2004 and should not be repeated.

    In an interview with CNA, the Minister stressed however that Nicosia does not want to lose the substance of the Cyprus problem to tight deadlines.

    The process will be difficult. There still exist a difference of opinion with the Turkish side on many issues. We shall continue persistently and patiently until we reach common positions, we are seeking an agreed solution and not one that is imposed or is given to us, he stressed.

    On the opening of a crossing point to and from the islands northern Turkish occupied areas at Ledra street, he pointed out that this has occurred following an agreement between the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities but it took place without any reductions on the part of the Greek Cypriot side.

    The Berlin wall has not collapsed, we are talking about just another check point, stressed Kyprianou who said he would like to walk down the street without any restrictions or checkpoints.

    The Minister expressed no surprise about the short delay in efforts to form the technical committees and working groups, as agreed by Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat at their recent meeting on March 21st.

    The committees and the groups will deal with various aspects of the Cyprus problem and will prepare the ground for substantive negotiations between the two leaders, with a view to reaching a political settlement that would reunite the country, which has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    The agreement they have reached on March 21st embraces the UN-brokered agreement of July 2006 and will help the process for a dialogue and negotiations, Kyprianou added.

    On efforts to inform about the political situation in Cyprus, the Foreign Minister believes that Nicosia must point out that a solution of the protracted Cyprus question will be to the benefit of other interested parties as well, such as the EU, the US and NATO. Its not enough to point out that we are right, he noted.

    Commenting on the internal situation in Turkey, he said Nicosia is monitoring developments and awaits the outcome of the crisis, relating to the ruling party.

    Nonetheless, he says that any process which weakens the Turkish government or provides an alibi to Ankara that would allow her not to cooperate fully on the Cyprus problem will certainly have an impact on Cyprus.

    Its to our benefit to see Turkeys path towards the European Union staying open, he said, but emphasized that Cyprus is interested in seeing Turkey joining the EU provided it meets all the terms and conditions the EU sets out.

    The Minister said he will discuss bilateral issues with Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn on Monday.

    Questioned on two court cases Cyprus brought against the EU before the Court of Justice of the European Communities, relating to the EU financial aid regulation to the Turkish Cypriots, he explained that the cases will not be withdrawn unless the process followed by the EU regarding the invitation of tenders for various projects associated with the financial aid is rectified.

    If the procedure does not change and the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime does not appear in the announcement inviting tenders as a third country, the cases will not be withdrawn, he told CNA, adding that Cyprus wants to see the EU financial regulation implemented but under the right procedure.

    The Minister recalled that the financial aid regulation would not have been adopted without the consent of the government of Cyprus.

    On foreign policy, Kyprianou indicated that Cyprus must address itself more effectively to the Arab countries, saying that old allies in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Arab world and the Middle East must be won back.

    We seem to have neglected to some degree this aspect of our foreign policy, because of our accession course to the EU, he explained.

    The intention is to try to open new embassies in various countries, including Latin American and African states.

    The Minister did not rule out the possibility of re-opening press offices at the Republics embassies.

    Asked about the EU joint presidency which Cyprus will share with Poland and Denmark in 2012, he said preparations are already underway for this.

    He said issues relating to infrastructure and other related matters will be discussed at a forthcoming meeting he has called with the participation of all interested parties.


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