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Russian envoy says no substantial change in stance on Cyprus
2005-03-21 12:31:03

Nicosia Mar 21 (CNA)--Russian Foreign Ministry's Special Representative on Cyprus Leonid Abramov said here Monday that there is no substantial change in Russia's position on Cyprus.

Abramov met Cypriot Foreign Minister George Iacovou who said that Russia would support Cyprus at the United Nations Security Council and the UN in general.

Iacovou also noted that the Greek Cypriot side is examining the possible resumption of the UN-led negotiations on Cyprus with the UN Secretariat, adding that ''these contacts will intensify in the future.''

''Once again it was confirmed that we have very close relations based on traditional friendship between our two countries'', Abramov said in statements after the meeting, adding that ''Russia traditionally pays great attention to the Cyprus problem and this will continue”.

Asked about the next steps to be taken on the Cyprus problem, Abramov said that ''both communities should understand each other and should speak about possible favourable conditions for the resumption of international efforts.''

To a question whether the Russian stance on the Cyprus problem has changed, Abramov said that '' in general, Russia’s line towards the Cyprus problem has remained the same'', adding there is ''no substantial change.''

Invited to say how he views the role of the UN Secretary General, Abramov said Kofi Annan’s role and his mission of good offices lead the way.

Replying to a question regarding Russia’s position on the Cyprus problem, Iacovou referred to Abramov's statements adding that what is very interesting is Abramov's statement on the UN Secretary-General's good offices mission ''which underscores that there is no arbitration role for the UN SG.''

''The Cypriot government's position is known, we do not accept arbitration,'' Iacovou said, adding that this role had expired on April 24 2004, when Annan’s plan was put before the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities in simultaneous referenda. The Greek Cypriot side rejected the Annan Plan while the Turkish Cypriot community approved it.

Regarding a possible resumption of the UN-led talks, Iacovou said that the Greek Cypriot side is in contact not only with UN high-ranking officials but also with the Secretariat.

''It is well known that these contacts have never stopped and have intensified recently and my view is that they will intensify even more in the future,'' Iacovou added.

Earlier, Abramov was received by Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos. No statements were made after the hour-long meeting.

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