France calls for speedy implementation of July 8 agreement on Cyprus
Nicosia, May 18 – France has called for the speedy implementation of the UN-brokered July 8, 2006 agreement between Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.
Presenting his credentials to President Papadopoulos, French Ambassador Nicolas Galey also said that Paris wants a “global, fair and sustainable solution” in Cyprus, noting that a united island would bring peace, freedom and prosperity for everybody.
Expressing France’s concern about the difficulties with regard to the July agreement, he said “we fully understand that adequate preparation will be needed before comprehensive negotiations can be opened up to bring about a unified Cyprus within the European Union.”
France, he added, like the European Union and its member states, wants a global, fair and sustainable solution to this long-lasting conflict and strongly hopes that the coming years will see real progress towards the reunification of Cyprus.
Mr. Papadopoulos expressed gratitude to France for its constant and principled support in promoting a viable and functional solution of the Cyprus problem, based on UN resolutions and values and principles on which the European Union is founded.
“We consider this active interest as a tangible proof of its genuine willingness to contribute to the promotion of peace in our country,” he added.
The President explained that the Turkish side insists on a UN solution plan, the Annan plan, as it fully satisfied all their demands and is calling for the abandonment of a UN process, based on the relevant July agreement that provides for the concurrent establishment of working groups to address substantive issues of the Cyprus problem and technical committees to deal with the day to day problems that affect the people as well as confidence building measures.
Mr. Papadopoulos also reiterated his support for the economic development of the Turkish Cypriots, noting that very recently the government proposed a new set of measures, including provisions for joint ventures with Greek Cypriots and the upgrading of civil society.
“Unfortunately, the Turkish Cypriots have campaigned heavily for the so-called direct trade regulation, under the slogan of isolation. The government strongly opposes any such regulation as it affects its vital interests and its implementation would foreshadow a solution to the Cyprus problem that instead of reunification will lead to partition,” he stressed.
Nicosia has supported the orientation of Turkey towards Europe, subject to fulfilling all its obligations towards the EU and all its member states, including Cyprus, he also stressed.