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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-03-24

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    We will ask for progress to the Cyprus problem on behalf of the Turkish side, following the general elections in Turkey in the coming June, Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Michael Spindelegger has said.

    Spindelegger, who is visiting Cyprus, held on Thursday talks with his Cypriot counterpart Marcos Kyprianou who reiterated his government`s commitment to a solution to the Cyprus problem, pointing out however that ``it takes two to tango.``

    Speaking during a joint press conference, the Ministers referred to the excellent relations between the two countries on a bilateral level as well as at the European Union.

    ``I would say that Austria is one of the closest partners of Cyprus in the EU and we see eye to eye on many issues,`` Kyprianou said.

    The Minister said he briefed his counterpart on the current stage of the UN-backed negotiations for a settlement to the Cyprus problem which began in September 2008, as well as ``the challenges we are facing and the problems that exist at this point.``

    Kyprianou reiterated the commitment of the Cypriot government to ``finding a solution that would reunify the country based on a federal structure,`` adding the solution should ``maintain and guarantee the unity of the country.``

    ``But it takes two to tango, so it is important the goodwill of our side is also reciprocated and met accordingly by the other side as well``, he stressed.

    Concerning the Turkish accession process, Kyprianou said that ``Cyprus is ready to agree to the accession of Turkey to the EU but without discounts and provided that Turkey meets all the requirements as any other candidate country without special treatment.``

    ``They have to meet their obligations towards the EU, including those that concern Cyprus as well,`` the Cypriot FM noted, adding ``there can be no free ride and there can be no special treatment whether the candidate country is small or large.``

    Regarding the current situation in the region of the southern Mediterranean and Libya, Kyprianou recalled the UNSC resolution regarding Libya, pointing out that ``the aim should be a cease-fire and the protection of the civilians.``

    ``We would like to see a peaceful solution of this crisis, which is included in the UNSC resolution, so we would like to see a dialogue as soon as possible, helping to find a way out of this crisis,`` he added.

    On his part, Spindelegger said Austria and Cyprus ``have a lot in common.``

    Concerning the current negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem, Spindelegger described the Cyprus problem as ``a long-standing`` one, adding ``we would like to see a solution like you.``

    ``I think of course we have to notice that we should come forward and there should be progress in these negotiations,`` he said, adding ``we would like to support both parts to have a solution in the future.``

    ``I think it is needed and we would also like to be supportive if there is a need for that,`` Spindelegger noted.

    Responding to a question whether they discussed the Ankara Protocol, Spindelegger said ``we agreed that Turkey has to fulfill all the conditions like other candidates,`` adding ``there is no special modus for Turkey in those negotiations.``

    Turkey, which invaded Cyprus in 1974 and occupies the island`s northern third, has not yet implemented the Ankara protocol which expands its customs union with the EU to all EU member-states including the Republic of Cyprus.

    ``We would like to see progress in these negotiations from the Turkish side and we will have to wait. Of course in June we will see elections in Turkey and I think afterwards is the moment to ask for progress from the Turkish side``, he pointed out.

    Asked whether he refers to the Cyprus problem specifically, he said ``we have a lot of different issues to deal with, but this a special one and of course we have to concentrate on this issue.``

    On the situation in Libya, Spindelegger said Austria is very much in favour in the protection of civilians.

    ``We welcome what has been decided but we would like to concentrate on the issue of the protection of civilians,`` he said, pointing out that ``all partners, especially in the Arab League, should continue to support this mission because we all see we would like to see democracy in all these countries in the future and we would like to have stability and progress for people living in that countries.``

    Furthermore, responding to a question, both Ministers referred to the EU Summit that began today in Brussels, in bid to strengthen the financial stability of the Eurozone, pounded by the sovereign debt crisis.

    On his part, Spindelegger said his country is in favour of the strengthening of the stability fund in the EU ``because there is a need to have a stabilization of the EU not only today but also in the future.``

    Kyprianou said ``we have come a very long way not to have a positive outcome and an agreement in this council on the stabilization mechanism.``

    ``A lot of work has been dedicated on that and I am confident that an agreement, a final one, will be reached during this council. But if not, then I think we will be sending wrong messages to the markets,`` he concluded.


    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias, has sent congratulatory messages to the Greek leadership on the occasion of the Greek National Day, assuring that the excellent cooperation between the two governments at all levels will continue.

    In his message to President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias, President Christofias pays tribute to the 1821 generation for putting into action the dreams and hopes of the old generations, giving the Greek people the utmost gift, their freedom and freedom as people.

    In his message to Prime Minister George Papandreou, President Christofias expresses his deep appreciation and gratitude to the support of the Greek government and people in the efforts of the people of Cyprus to find a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, which will constitute the real freedom and reunification of the island.

    I am convinced that the excellent cooperation between our governments at all levels will continue and will give a decisive push in achieving our common goals, President Christofias added.

    Greeks celebrate on 25th March the 1821 revolution, marking the launch of the Greek struggle for independence from Ottoman rule.

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