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Cyprus government sees fresh start in relations with Britain
2005-07-27 12:17:17

Nicosia, Jul 27 - Cyprus Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said there is a new beginning in relations between Britain and Cyprus and described Tuesday's meetings in London between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos on one hand, and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs George Iacovou on the other hand, as very satisfying.

''There is a new beginning in the relations between Great Britain and Cyprus,'' he said, adding that ''the agreement for a structured dialogue is especially important, in order to have a constant direct communication to ascertain the positions of both sides leaving no room for rumors.''

''Identification of views has been ascertained, mainly on European issues, and a common position was outlined for the promotion of efforts for a solution and reunification of our country,'' he also said.

The Spokesman said that, ''as regards Turkey's obligations towards the EU, Blair was explicit, that all countries that want to join the EU must adopt and follow the same criteria.''

"Structured dialogue means the existence of a mechanism for continuing exchange of views and mutual briefing on issues in which the two countries are concerned and interested, in the EU framework or otherwise.'' He added that ''details and procedures have not yet been finalised,'' he added.

Mr. Chrysostomides noted that this dialogue ''greatly helps to have a direct ascertainment of each side's position.''

He also said that Mr. Blair showed a positive stance and wanted to help towards a solution of the Cyprus problem and the reunification of the island.

Asked if the fact that there is a new beginning in relations between Britain and Cyprus is a conclusion of the Greek Cypriot side or a common conclusion, the Spokesman said, ''I think it is a common conclusion, especially in view of the agreement for a structured dialogue, continuous contact between the two governments.''

Moreover, President Papadopoulos said that a statement by Mr. Blair, that the signing of the protocol extending Turkey's customs union to the 10 new EU member states does not involve the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus, is not contrary or conflicting with all that the two discussed on Tuesday.

The President also said that he has been stating since December that the signing of the protocol itself neither constitutes recognition nor does it mean the contrary.

''Recognition in our days derives from many actions and surely not by itself. However, it is a very big step in normalizing relations with Turkey, finally leading to recognition," he concluded.

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