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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 04-01-09

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

  • [01]Friday, 09 January 2004 Cyprus and Estonia strengthen bilateral ties
  • [02] President Papadopoulos: We are ready to participate in talks without terms or preconditions on the basis of the Annan Plan

    [01] Cyprus and Estonia strengthen bilateral ties

    The President of the Republic Mr Tassos Papadopoulos and his Estonian counterpart Mr Arnold Ruutel, heading their respective delegations, held talks on bilateral relations yesterday in Nicosia as both countries are awaiting their official accession to the European Union on 1 May 2004. Two agreements on education and culture and on combating organised and other forms of crime as well as a cooperation protocol between the Cyprus and the Estonian Foreign Ministries were signed after the talks. The agreement for cooperation on education and culture was signed by the Minister of Education and Culture Mr Pefkios Georgiades and the Estonian Minister of Culture Mr Umas Paet. The agreement for combating organised crime and other forms of crime was signed by the Minister of Justice and Public Order Mr Doros Theodorou and the Estonian Interior Minister Mr Margus Leivo. The Protocol for cooperation between the Foreign Ministries of the two countries was signed on behalf of the Cyprus Republic by the Director of the Political Affairs Division at the Foreign Ministry Ms Rea Yiordamli and on behalf of Estonia by the Deputy Under-Secretary Ms Tiina Intelmann. Speaking to the press after the talks, President Papadopoulos expressed the hope that the Estonian President's visit to Cyprus would signal a new era for strengthening bilateral relations in all fields. Mr Papadopoulos said the Cyprus problem was also discussed, noting that he expressed to President Ruutel the satisfaction of the Cyprus people and Government with Estonia's firm support to a Cyprus settlement on the basis of UN resolutions and the EU acquis communautaire. Replying to press questions regarding the two countries' positions on issues of the Intergovernmental Conference, President Papadopoulos pointed out that Cyprus and Estonia shared the same views with regard to the composition of the European Commission, the representation of member states in the European Parliament and the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy. On his part, the Estonian President noted that his visit to the island was a landmark for the further development of bilateral ties. He also said that his country had a keen interest in promoting cooperation with the countries of the Mediterranean region, including Cyprus. Referring to the two countries' European course, Mr Ruutel said that EU membership would culminate in closer bilateral cooperation, and added that Estonia and Cyprus could offer assistance to other EU member states on some issues.

    [02] President Papadopoulos: We are ready to participate in talks without terms or preconditions on the basis of the Annan Plan

    The President of the Republic, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, reiterated yesterday the Greek Cypriot side's readiness to participate in talks, called by the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, without terms or preconditions on the basis of the Annan Plan. Replying to press questions after his meeting with the President of Estonia, Mr Papadopoulos expressed the hope that yesterday's high level meeting in Ankara would result in the return to the negotiating table for talks on the basis of Annan Plan. He added, however, that that did not depend on the Greek Cypriot side since it did not determine what the Turkish side would decide. Referring to the efforts in the Turkish-occupied areas to form a "government", the President said he was astonished by the fact that it had been so clearly stated that it was Turkey which would decide first and then inform the Turkish Cypriot parties. "This confirms" he added, "what I have been saying all along prior to the voting in the Turkish occupied areas, that decisions are taken in Turkey by Turkey". President Papadopoulos also noted that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash represented the uncertainty that there could not be any progress towards a settlement, whereas the opposition parties offered the hope that it was possible to see changes in the intransigent position. "Between uncertainty and hope we prefer hope", the President added. Asked if he believed that talks would take place in February, the President said he was not in a position to know what the UN Secretary- General would do, but acknowledged that more and more people believed that would be the case. "I repeat that we are ready, whenever the Secretary- General invites us, to participate in talks without terms or preconditions on the basis of the Annan Plan", he said. Invited to comment on the position of the German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder that the solution of the Cyprus problem would open Turkey's road to the European Union, President Papadopoulos said that this was the position proposed by the European Council, repeated in Thessalonica and in Brussels and included in the European Commission's Report on Turkey.

    From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


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