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Cyprus Foreign Minister bids US Ambassador farewell
2005-06-28 12:30:21

Nicosia, June 28 -- Cyprus Foreign Minister George Iakovou bid Ambassador of the United States Michael Klosson farewell stressing, amongst other:

"On the Cyprus problem, we have admittedly gone through a difficult period, especially after the referenda, when we have not been able to see eye-to-eye. This is a pity since there is, I believe, a fundamental coincidence of interests and common purpose between us.

"I am gratified that Ambassador Klosson, in his speech last Saturday, reaffirmed this aspect and, by quoting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, highlighted the fact that a political settlement must come from the islandís two communities and not be imposed from outside.

"I think we can agree that any plan for the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, should have balance and meet the legitimate concerns and aspirations of both sides. Otherwise, without balance, like an aeroplane, it will not take off, it will be unstable or it will not fly at all. We should, therefore, look forward and seek to correct the imbalance and actively continue our efforts until a mutually agreed settlement is reached.

"As I have said, Cyprus and the United States share common interests but, also, common values. Both societies are largely comprised of entrepreneurs and hard-working people who cherish freedom, justice, peace, democracy and the rule of law, that is: liberty, human dignity and the pursuit of happiness. This coincidence of interests and values translates into concrete cooperation.

Mr. Iakovou also stressed:

"Cyprus and the United States face together the current threats to international peace. On the war on terrorism, combating money-laundering and terrorism financing, the cooperation between our two countries has reached excellent levels.

"Most recently, the Republic of Cyprus and the USA have successfully concluded negotiations on a bilateral agreement within the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) aimed at combating the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. In the same context the USA has pledged its support for Cyprusí aspiration to participate in the Wassenaar Arrangement.

"The United States and Cyprus maintain bilateral agreements in 25 areas, including a MOU on combating money laundering and financing of terrorism and a most important Treaty for Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters that promotes close coordination between the two countries in an effort to fight crime in their respective territories.

"The accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the European Union, during Ambassador Klossonís watch, added new significance in and broadened the scope of the relationship between Cyprus and the United States, by placing it within the wider and more challenging context of the transatlantic partnership. Cyprus is, now, a participant in the transatlantic dialogue and as such it engages further with the issues affecting the United States and Europe and the wider world."

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