Nicosia and Paris enjoy excellent long-standing relations, which are reflected in bilateral cooperation on various fronts, including defence and security matters, in addition to cooperation at the UN and within the EU, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said here tonight.
The President thanked Paris and expressed his sincere appreciation for its long-standing support for the efforts to find a just, viable and functional solution in Cyprus, based on UN Security Council resolutions.
He referred to the forthcoming visit to Cyprus by a special envoy of the Secretary-General to sound out the intentions of all parties involved in the Cyprus problem, including the three guarantor powers (UK, Greece and Turkey) to establish whether the preconditions to resume the stalled peace talks are in place.
“I would like to hope our Turkish Cypriot compatriots and Turkey itself will respond in a positive manner, in particular to all that is set out in the framework of six points which the UN Secretary-General has set out on the issue of security and guarantees and the presence of Turkish troops,” he said.
The President expressed hope that the Turkish side will refrain from any moves which violate the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus.
Describing the solution, he said it must guarantee the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of a state, an EU member, and consolidate the feeling of security for all citizens, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
The EU, as the Ambassador has pointed out, is the best guarantee to create peace, stability and prosperity, without any guarantees of a third country.
“We want to ensure, as agreed with the Turkish Cypriot leader, that the security of one is not a threat for the other, and this can only be achieved by abolishing all anachronistic agreements which do not serve the purpose of providing security to the people,” he said.
The President expressed particular satisfaction for the excellent relations the two countries enjoy, not only on a bilateral but also on a multilateral level, saying this is evident at the UN and within the EU, citing as an example the participation in the Med7 Group and the Franco-Cypriot Strategic Agenda which defines the joint objectives for cooperation in political dialogue, security and defence matters, the economy, education and culture.
Referring in particular to cooperation on security and defence matters, he said that it aims at addressing the serious challenges the wider region is faced with.
On the economic front, Anastasiades said cooperation with Total and Nicosia’s energy plans open up new prospects for bilateral ties in this sector, adding that French presence in energy concerns in the region will serve the common interests and EU energy security.
He also talked about the Franco-Cypriot school and how it has developed over the years to serve the local community.
Closing his remarks, the President thanked the Ambassador for his personal efforts and wished France good luck in the World Cup final on Sunday.
On his part, the Ambassador of France to Cyprus Rene Troccaz said in his speech that France will help towards the resumption of the talks in order to find a fair solution to the Cyprus problem.
Cyprus, he pointed out, is not alone.
“We want the reunification of the island, as you want. We have a clear reference on that: the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and the observance of the acquis communautaire. It is in this spirit that we speak to all those – Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots – working for the solution, Troccaz noted.
He noted that France uses the same language everywhere: here, within the EU and at the United Nations, adding that “for us, the United Nations, and especially UNFICYP, play a decisive role in ensuring security in Cyprus.”
“We believe that the settlement of the Cyprus problem is in the interest of all Cypriots. We want to look ahead to the future. For a reunited state, member of the EU, the best guarantee is Europe,” he noted.
Troccaz said that Cyprus and France are very close to each other and France has demonstrated in a concrete way its support towards Cyprus in recent months.
“The two governments are in regular consultation on all matters of common interest, such as justice, security, economy and environment,” he noted.
He added that “in defence we have a remarkable cooperation based on a well-known relationship of fidelity. I believe that Minister Savvas Angelides was able to establish this during his recent visit to Paris.”
Moreover he said that our companies invest in Cyprus in many areas and in particular in the energy sector.
Troccaz also referred to activities “illustrating the dynamism of our bilateral relationship,” among which were the events organized in Cyprus to celebrate the month of La Francophonie and the inauguration of the electronic “ALUMNI” platform which brings together Cypriots who have studied in France by Laurent Fabius, former Prime Minister of France.
Addressing his compatriots living on the island, Troccaz told them that in Cyprus “you will find a welcoming environment and institutions or people who are listening to you and I am talking about our elected representative in Cyprus, the French-Cypriot School, our honorary consuls, the French Alliances in Limassol and Paphos, the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) and the Foreign Trade Advisors Section.”
He also welcomed he particularly active associations adding that “the Embassy is at your side and always at your disposal and I would like to thank all its employees.”
The Ambassador referred to the World Cup final as well and wished his country success, expressing hope that the Cup will return to Paris.