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Albania supports every initiative for a final solution in Cyprus
2006-06-07 15:22:56

Nicosia, Jun 7 (CNA) -- The government of Albania welcomes and supports every initiative that aims to find a final solution for the reunification of Cyprus, where the full will of the interested parties will be reflected, new Ambassador of the Republic of Albania to Cyprus, stationed in Athens, Vili Shefki Minarolli has said.

Presenting his credentials today to Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, Minarolli said ?that the parties will take advantage of any opportunity and will cooperate in a constructive spirit aiming at the achievement of a final and a stable solution.?

Replying, President Papadopoulos referring to the Cyprus question said that ?at this crucial time, we continue to seek the support and assistance of our friends and my government will, therefore, greatly appreciate Albania's support and understanding within the OIC in rebuffing any efforts by Turkey to upgrade its illegal secessionist entity and safeguarding that OIC decisions will be consistent with the UN Charter and Resolutions, particularly Security Council Resolutions 541 and 550.?

The Albanian Ambassador said his country has defined as the main priority the integration to the European family and to the Euro Atlantic Structures and ?in this respect, we would highly appreciate your experience in the long process of integration to the European Union.?

?I'm convinced that in this historic process, Cyprus, as a member of the EU, will stand close to Albania,? he added.

He expressed the will of the Albanian government ?for the development in continuous progress of our bilateral relations and my full engagement to serve for the further strengthening of the ties and cooperation between our two countries and people.?

The Albanian Ambassador said that ?as a result of the recent measures of the government for the improvement of the environment for businesses by reducing taxes for the small businesses and facilitating the procedures etc, Albania can be attractive also for Cypriot investors, especially in the fields of tourism, infrastructure, energy, agriculture etc.?

?Albania is also interested to have with Cyprus much more intensive exchanges in the fields of culture, arts, languages and civilization, education and sciences, health services and protection of the environment,? he noted.

Replying, President Papadopoulos said ?relations between our two countries have been friendly both at the bilateral and the multilateral level, in international organizations and other bodies. However, we believe that there are now new opportunities available for our two countries to promote and strengthen our bilateral relations.?

Noting that ''on the 12 June 2006 your country will be signing the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union'' Papadopoulos said ''I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Albania for successfully completing the process of negotiations and to reiterate our support towards Albania's aspirations towards becoming a full member of the European Union.''

He noted that Cyprus believes that the Western Balkans have entered a one way road to prosperity, development and progress, at the end of which lies the eventual membership in the greater European family.

Referring to the Cyprus question, he said ''the desire to put an end to the suffering of our people have prompted us to promote and support a bizonal, bicommunal, federal solution. We remain committed to this, as it could bring about the genuine reunification of our country and would serve the legitimate interests of all Cypriots. We are committed to working constructively for such a solution within the UN framework and on the basis of relevant UN Resolutions, international law and the founding principles of the European Union,? he added.

He noted that the Cyprus dispute has no religious connotations and was never based on religious matters and therefore, Turkey should not be allowed to exploit religion in her efforts to upgrade the secessionist entity on the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus and to entrench the illegal and unjust division of Cyprus.

Papadopoulos said his meeting with the United Nations Secretary - General in Paris on the 28 February 2006 is a development ''which I hope will give new impetus to build towards a new round of substantive bi-communal negotiations.''

?It is important, in this respect, for our friends to appreciate that we are not interested in being involved in a new 'blame-game.' We are interested in bicommunal discussions at the technical level that together with seeking to restore trust between the two communities will also prepare the ground for the full resumption of the negotiating progress. We cannot accept these discussions being limited to the solving of day-to-day problems and normalising the present illegal status quo,'' he said.

''Such a development would be counterproductive as it would only serve the Turkish aim of upgrading the illegal, secessionist entity in occupied Cyprus,? he noted.

He said ?we expect the Turkish side to respond positively to the procedure agreed in Paris with the UN Secretary - General. The Paris Communique also notes that it would 'improve the atmosphere for further talks, if progress could be achieved on further disengagement of forces and demilitarization on the island, on the complete de-mining of Cyprus, and on the issue of Famagusta.' Progress on these issues would, more than any other confidence building measure, also contribute to the restoration of trust for further talks.?

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