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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-12-07

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov has expressed Moscows support for a UN-brokered agreement, in July last year, aiming to help resume negotiations towards a Cyprus settlement and called all interested parties to facilitate its implementation.

    In an interview to CNA, in view of his two day official visit to Cyprus, starting Sunday, the Russian Minister also said that the UN remains the focus of the solution process, pointing out that Moscow looks forward to positive results from cooperation among the five permanent members of Security Council.

    He referred to the traditionally excellent bilateral relations with Cyprus, noting that his agenda includes the Cyprus issue, further promoting ties between the two countries and coordination on important regional issues such as Kossovo and the Middle East.

    He noted that bilateral relations have entered a new era, given the fact that Cyprus is an EU member. On Kossovo he expressed concern over the threat of undermining international law, through a unilateral secessionist act which could be applied to similar cases.

    The traditionally friendly relations with the Cyprus Republic are based on historical and spiritual ties, he said, adding that taking into consideration Cyprus accession to the EU our cooperation becomes all the more substantive, including cooperation in military and technical sectors.

    Lavrov referred to the economic ties between the two countries, noting that Cyprus has become the home of thousands of Russians and a favorite destination for their holidays, adding that during his visit he will also discuss the prospects to develop the southern part of Russia in view of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games at Sochi.

    At the same time we will coordinate our approaches towards the settlement of several serious problems, Kosovo, Iraq, the Middle East. At the centre of our attention of course are the prospects for a Cyprus settlement. What brings us closer to each other is the common understanding to deal with international issues on the basis of principles, the Russian FM said.

    On the Cyprus issue, he reiterated Moscows support to a viable, comprehensive solution of the long standing political problem of the island, noting his governments support to the agreement of 2006 8th July agreement and expressing regret for the fact that the sides have moved very little towards implementation.

    Noting that the possibilities to make progress in Cyprus have not been exhausted, Lavrov said: Given the fact that the central role in the Cyprus process remains with the UN, we look forward to the positive results of cooperation among the five permanent members of the Security Council.

    He rejected statements by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili that the Russian President Vladimir Putin had threatened to cause a second Cyprus in Georgia.

    Asked to compare the Cyprus issue with the case of Kosovo, the Russian FM expressed concern over the undermining of the international law as a basis of stability in interstate relations.

    The case of Kosovo is not at all unique. The unilateral decision will inevitably become a fait accompli and extend to other similar cases, Lavrov said, adding that the issue here is not if there are any comparisons even if they are obvious.

    There are numerous cases in which secession is under discussion, on the pretext of ethnic differences, when the interested state does not accept such a move. Think of Cyprus, he said, adding that such conflicts remain under control thanks mainly to the fundamental rules of international low.

    To weaken these principles with careless moves in Kosovo would simply be irresponsible, he told CNA, expressing the hope that our partners in the West will manage to make the right choice

    Referring to Russian EU relations, he said that we are equal strategic partners, defining our relations on the basis of a partnership agreement, noting that this relation should develop further on a serious basis to help build a long-term relationship with the EU.

    Responding to questions on energy matters, Lavrov told CNA that Russia works together with its partners in Southeastern Europe, pointing out that this region is not only an important source of energy but pivotal for the transport of vital energy supplies.

    Concluding the Russian Minister referred to the spiritual ties with the Christian orthodox tradition.

    The spiritual relation between the Russian and the Greek peoples through history is a strong part of the friendly bilateral relations, he said.

    Our common orthodox values are a unifying factor for the countries of the eastern European tradition. It is obvious that the spiritual closeness of our peoples could be channeled with success to practical moves with a view to promote peace and stability, the Russian FM told CNA, concluding that any efforts from outside to disturb the friendly relation cannot but fail.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

    President Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agreed on 8 July 2006, during a meeting in Nicosia in the presence of UN official Ibrahim Gambari, to begin a process of bicommunal discussions on issues that affect the day-to-day life of the people and concurrently those that concern substantive issues, both contributing to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.


    Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Erato Kozakou Marcoullis is in Lisbon, to represent President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos at the EU-Africa summit, to take place on December 8 and 9.

    The summit will deal with the EU-Africa Common Strategy, which will be implemented through various action plans, the first of which will be adopted by the summit and implemented during the period 2008-2010.

    Furthermore, the summit will focus on peace and security, good administration and human rights, trade and development, energy and climate changes and immigration.


    Security Council members have stressed the need to implement a UN agreement of July last year to help resume substantive negotiations towards a settlement. They also wish to see proposals on Confidence Building Measures in Cyprus implemented.

    This was outlined during informal consultations among Security Council members on the UN Secretary-Generals report on the renewal of UNFICYPs mandate.

    The members were briefed by UN Secretary General`s Special Representative in Cyprus Michael Moller.

    The SC members believe that developments in the Cyprus issue will take place in 2008. A permanent Security Council member supported that Moller should be encouraged to continue his work in Cyprus.


    Cyprus has submitted the largest number of proposals for research to the European Research Institute, in relation to the number of researchers, according to statistics. The majority of proposals came from young academics of the University of Cyprus (UCY).

    The Rector of the University of Cyprus Stavros Zenios said in an interview with CNA that there are currently more than 300 research projects, with a total budget of 25.9 million Cyprus pound. All these projects are financed by external funds.

    There are objective indicators on the basis of which the research productivity of a University is assessed, Zenios said, noting that external independent evaluators such as the Carnegie Foundation for Higher Education assessed the University of Cyprus as eligible to be included in the list of research universities since 2003 as the UCY completely satisfied the criteria.

    Zenios described the research productivity of the University of Cyprus as notable, adding that this demonstrates a rising trend. The average research production per year, in terms of the number of publications per member of academic staff during the period 2002-2004, was 3.53 compared to 3.11 during the period 1999-2001, indicating that the production will be even higher during the next reporting period.

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