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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-06-09

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Russia welcomes the resumption of a dialogue between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities, saying it will support actively efforts for its successful conclusion, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed after talks here with his Cypriot counterpart Markos Kyprianou.

    Lavrov said that we are not trying to grasp the role of others and no-one else can grasp our role, Lavrov said, underlining that the central role in the Cyprus problem belongs to the UN Security Council, its five permanent members, who can work exclusively on the basis of unanimity.

    In view of this, he added in his remarks, I dont see any chance for the Security Council to support any decision that will not be an outcome of an agreement of the involved sides in Cyprus.

    These sides must make intense efforts to agree on the parameters of the arrangement to be reached between them on a voluntary basis and of course on the basis of the principles adopted by the UN, the Russian Foreign Minister said during a joint press conference with Kyprianou.

    Representatives of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities have been engaged in talks in the past two months with a view to prepare the ground for substantive negotiations leading to a settlement that will reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    Kyprianou said that the Cyprus people and the political leadership of Cyprus do not forget the solidarity which Russia has shown to Cyprus.

    He thanked Russia for its steadfast, firm position at the UN Security Council and said that he briefed Lavrov on the latest developments in the Cyprus question and explained the Cypriot position for a settlement that will secure the continuity of the Republic of Cyprus and the unity of the state.

    Responding to a question, Kyprianou underlined that Russia has to play a very important and constructive role in the Cyprus question, acting in the Security Council framework.

    The Cyprus government, he noted, believes that the UN Security Council five permanent members must act collectively.

    Both ministers said that the two countries have agreed to start preparing the visit of Cyprus President Demetris Chrisotifias to Russia in the Autumn, which the Russian Foreign Minister described as a very important step in efforts to develop further cooperation between the two countries.

    Lavrov also said that they agreed on additional measures that will allow even more propitious conditions for business relations and contact between their citizens.

    Kyprianou said that Cyprus sees the Russian Federation as a strategic partner of the EU and has always supported an open dialogue to enhance EU-Russian ties.

    Referring to the issue of visas for Russian citizens who want to visit Cyprus, Kyprianou said he was in favour of abolishing them, noting that Cyprus will undertake an initiative with its EU partners to that end, in the framework of the negotiations for a new cooperation agreement between Russia and the EU.

    Kyprianou and Lavrov noted that they share identical views on international issues they discussed, including the situation in Kosovo and the Middle East.


    Cyprus Interior Minister Neoklis Silikiotis has expressed the sympathy of the government with the victims of a strong earthquake that hit Greece on Sunday.

    The tremor measured 6.5 on the Richter scale and struck southwestern Greece on Sunday, killing at least two people and injuring more than 100, leveling dozens of homes.

    Silikiotis, who had a telephone conversation with this Greek counterpart Prokopis Pavrolouplos, also expressed the readiness of the Cypriot government to provide aid to help the stricken area and those affected by the earthquake.


    An Inter-Religious Conference titled ``Peace in the World and the Middle East`` will be held in Nicosia from November 16 to 18 with an aim to remind the leaders of religions and other political personalities to attend the Conference that peace is what is sought after in Cyprus, the northern third of which has been under Turkish occupation since 1974.

    Neapolis Bishop Porfyrios told CNA in an interview that the Church of Cyprus ``will ask for their help to exert pressure on Turkey to accept a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem.``

    The Bishop said the Church of Cyprus undertook to organise the Conference in Cyprus during 21st Inter-Religious Conference in Italy last October, noting that the aim of the 22nd Conference is the contribution of religions to world peace, especially in the Middle East.

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