Cyprus and France aim to strengthen ties

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Friday said both Cyprus and France and their Presidents want the two countries` cooperation on defence issues to be further developed.

In statements after talks on Friday with his Cypriot counterpart, Nicos Christodoulides, Le Drian said that cooperation among the two countries on defence was excellent and based on trust, adding that French warships dock at Cyprus ports for supply.

Speaking through an interpreter, Le Drian expressed his country`s support to efforts for a Cyprus settlement in line with the EU acquis communautaire, and based on relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

He said France wanted to see a resumption of Cyprus negotiations, taking into consideration what has been achieved during previous rounds of talks.
France was is ready to help, he added.

Christodoulides said that during their talks, the ministers reaffirmed bilateral interests and discussed further expanding ties.

The ministers of energy and defence, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis and Savvas Angelides, also participated for part of the meeting at the foreign ministry.

Le Drian said that Cyprus and France had established a firm cooperation in the field of energy, noting their commitment tor stability in the region, which he said was based on respect of international law.

He and Christodoulides also discussed the future of Europe, regional and international issues, such as Syria and Iran. Christodoulides said Cyprus and France have a relationship of strategic importance.

Also on Friday, Le Drian visited the anthropological laboratory of the Committee on Missing Persons where the three CMP Members briefed him on the humanitarian mission.

According to a CMP announcement, Le Drian, was accompanied by the French Ambassador, René Troccaz, and the three members, Nestoras Nestoros, Gülden Plümer Kücük and Paul-Henri Arni.

“They stressed the contribution of this humanitarian project in restoring some of the trust lost between communities. They also underlined that returning missing persons to their loved ones prepares the ground for reconciliation,” the statement said.

It adds that the CMP members “expressed their hope that France would support their efforts at a time when it is becoming more difficult than ever to locate new burial sites and more expensive to identify complex cases.”

So far, 890 missing persons from both communities have been identified and returned to their families for  burial. The CMP relies on donor support.

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