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FM: Cyprus could undertake Middle East initiatives
2007-03-22 09:31:15

Nicosia, Mar 20 –Minister of Foreign Affairs Yiorgos Lillikas has expressed the Cyprus Government’s intention to undertake initiatives for the resolution of conflicts in the Middle East area.

Speaking after separate meetings in Nicosia with Fatah executive committee member Hani Al-Hassan, Deputy Foreign Minister of Sudan Mohamed Elsamani Elwasila and Deputy Foreign Minister of Syria Ahmad Arnous, Mr. Lillikas said that he had the opportunity - within the framework of the European policy - to discuss issues on the Middle East problem. Also, on the prospect of settling the Lebanon crisis and the situation in Sudan, especially in Darfur.

“The meetings were very informative and we put down some ideas for initiatives which could be undertaken,” he added before stressing that the Cyprus Government will brief the EU presidency and its EU partners on these meetings.

Meanwhile, the Cyprus Government also welcomed the formation of a Palestinian National Unity Government.

In a press release, the Foreign Ministry said: ''It is essential that the Palestinian Government engages on a political platform that reflects the Quartet principles.'' It added that ''Cyprus will carefully assess the platform and actions of the new government and respond appropriately.''

The Ministry also called upon the Palestinian National Unity Government to support President Mahmud Abbas in the political process which aims at the launch of meaningful negotiations leading to an end to the occupation that began in 1967 and to the creation of an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security with Israel.

Moreover, Deputy Executive Director of the Fundraising and Communications Department at the World Food Programme (WFP), John Powell, has thanked Cyprus and its people for their contribution in the success of the humanitarian mission to face last summer’s Lebanon crisis.

According to an official press release, Mr. Powell is on the island in the framework of the Second Annual Consultation between WFP and the 12 new member states of the European Union.

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