Cyprus and France to set up a structured dialogue
by Gregoris Savva
Paris, Nov 4 (CNA) – Cyprus and France have decided to set up a structured dialogue, through which they will work on EU issues and their bilateral relations Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos announced today after a working lunch with his French counterpart Jacques Chirac.
Papadopoulos, who is paying an official visit to France, said the lunch took place in a very friendly climate and was very constructive. Current European issues, the Cyprus problem, Turkey’s EU course, Middle East issues and the bilateral relations were on the agenda of the meeting.
Papadopoulos said he thanked Chirac for France’s position and his support to Cyprus, in the EU framework and especially during negotiations prior to the start of the EU-Turkey accession negotiations.
Announcing the common decision of the two countries for a structured dialogue, Papadopoulos said that the goal is “to further reinforce coordination, since the two countries share joint positions on a number of European issues and have excellent bilateral relations.”
“This new partnership will help even more the enhancement and broadening of relations between France and the Republic of Cyprus,” he added.
Asked if France will hold a stable stance, while Turkey continues to have a negative behaviour towards its obligations regarding Cyprus and the EU, Papadopoulos said that “France supports positions of principles and I believe that this position will continue.”
A common written statement by the two Presidents said the aim of the new partnership between Cyprus and France is to “further enhance relations between the two sides and to facilitate co-understanding, coordination and cooperation at various levels, based on their bilateral bonds and common interests as EU member states.”
The statement noted that the structured dialogue will cover issues of mutual concern and specifically bilateral issues, such as the development of financial exchanges, cultural relations especially on a university level and cooperation in the area of science.
As regards European issues, the common statement referred to matters such as financial perspectives, maritime safety, the EuroMediterranean partnership and common foreign policy and security policy.
“To that end a regular coordination and cooperation at various levels between the two capitals will be established”, the statement added.