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Cyprus FM tells Lahoud and Karameh Cyprus is a bridge between EU & Middle East
2005-01-13 13:13:51

by Rebekah Gregoriades

Beirut, Jan 13 (CNA) -- The mutual will to strengthen and broaden relations between Cyprus and Lebanon, especially with the utilization of Cyprus - EU membership and its geographical position, was expressed during meetings Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs George Iacovou had in Beirut with Lebanese President Emile Lahoud and Prime Minister Omar Karameh.

According to CNA sources, during his meeting with Iacovou, Lahoud said that with Cyprus’ accession to the EU, the European borders are on Lebanon’s doorstep.

Iacovou expressed to both Lahoud and Karameh the interest of Cyprus in the region and the role it can play in the wider region, noting that Cyprus is a bridge between the EU and the Middle East.

The Minister told CNA that he conveyed to the Prime Minister and the President of Lebanon the greetings of Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos.

He added that they discussed issues of cooperation, the Cyprus problem, the Middle East question, the situation in Iraq, as well as UN Security Council resolution 1559 on Lebanon.

Iacovou added that there were «prospects for cooperation in practical matters» and that EU funds were available for joint research projects with the Middle East.

He explained that through this programme, Cyprus would be able to carry out joint research projects with non-EU countries in the wider region.

These projects, he said, could be medical or other, such as research into the state of health of the region’s children.

CNA has learned that Lahoud extended an invitation to President Papadopoulos to visit Lebanon whenever he wishes.

Lahoud said Lebanon and Cyprus have historically very good relations and expressed his country’s wish to deepen these relations by enhancing cooperation and exchanging more visits.

The Lebanese President also said that with Cyprus’ accession to the EU, Europe’s borders are on Lebanon’s doorstep.

He also briefed Iacovou on the situation in Lebanon, the Middle East question and the situation in Iraq.

During the meeting, Iacovou and Lahoud expressed the mutual will to strengthen and broaden relations between Cyprus and Lebanon, especially with the utilization of Cyprus’ EU membership and its geographical position.

Iacovou also briefed Lahoud in detail on the Cyprus problem, recent developments, the prospects of finding a solution and the parameters of that solution, having in mind Turkey’s EU accession course.

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