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Cyprus-France relations meeting takes place in Limassol
2006-01-27 15:07:30

Limassol, Jan 27 (CNA) - Cypriot House of Representatives President Demetris Christofias told a gathering of French delegates today that the large majority of the Greek Cypriot community did not reject a solution of the Cyprus problem but the specific settlement plan proposed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Addressing a meeting in Limassol on the relations of Cyprus and France titled ''Cyprus as a centre of international business activities and a bridge of cooperation to the countries of the Middle East and Eastern Europe'', Christofias assured that the Greek Cypriot side was committed to a bicommunal, bizonal federal solution, and was ready to resume well-prepared talks without arbitration and suffocating timeframes.

''We look forward to a new initiative on behalf of the UN Secretary General within the year 2006, with the understanding of course that the Turkish side will abandon its arrogant tactic and will concede to discussing changes to the Annan plan that would not harm the rights of our Turkish Cypriot compatriots, will make the plan more functional and viable,'' he added.

Christofias noted that ''Turkey must also abandon its tactic of avoiding to meet its commitments towards the EU and the upgrading of the illegal pseudostate under the pretext of the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, and we demand that the international community shows due respect to a sovereign state, as imposed by international law, and we deplore any efforts to circumvent it.''

Referring to the relations between France and Cyprus, Christofias said the two countries are focused on common European values and principles, and that the structured dialogue agreed on covers a wide range of sectors, including the economy, commerce, tourism, maritime and science.

He pointed out however that there was room for improvement regarding economic, trade and business relations.

Addressing the meeting, Senator and Chairman of the France-Cyprus Friendship Group in the French Senate Andre Rouviere noted the importance of improving relations between the two countries, adding that they could help each other in a wide range of sectors.

Cypriot Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism George Lillikas and French Minister of Industry Francois Loos presented the figures of the Cypriot and French economy.

Lillikas said there were many prospects for investment in Cyprus, noting that Cyprus' investment environment was the most favourable in the EU.

Loos said the strength of an economy is based on innovation and this was pursued for the industry of the country. ''Our aim is, through our action, to make innovations in the industry and benefit from the prospects offered by globalisation,'' he added.

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