Foreign Minister Kyprianou: Direct trade regulation undermines efforts for Cyprus solution
Nicosia, May 5 – Minister of Foreign Affairs Markos Kyprianou stressed that the EU regulation on direct trade of Cyprus' northern Turkish occupied areas with the EU is legally and politically unacceptable.
In statements after a meeting he held in Nicosia with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Minister Kyprianou said that the direct trade regulation undermines the prospects to reach a solution in Cyprus.
The direct trade regulation is legally and politically unacceptable and undermines the prospect to reach a solution in Cyprus, he underlined.
Invited to comment on information that there is an effort to link the regulation with efforts to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem, the Minister said that the regulation is unacceptable and there is no question of making any sort of arrangements which would link the two issues.
“This regulation and this proposal should not have existed,” he said.
The Minister noted, however, that it is expected that there will be efforts to eliminate Cyprus’ arguments “with some scenarios of linking it with the course of the Cyprus talks,” which, he explained, “will not be acceptable.”
He also stressed that Cyprus will not accept any “direct or indirect threats.”
“Our disagreements concern the essence of the issue. This is a regulation which is legally and politically unacceptable and undermines the prospect to reach a solution in Cyprus, even if there are talks going on, or not,” he said, adding that “we will not accept such arrangements.”
In conclusion, he expressed the conviction that the coordination between the government, the Cypriot MEPs, the political parties and Cyprus’ diplomatic missions, will bear fruit.
In statements regarding the same issue, the President of the European Peoples Party (EPP) Wilfried Martens said he believes that the EU regulation providing for direct trade between the occupied areas and the EU will be an obstacle for a comprehensive solution in Cyprus.
The former Belgian Prime Minister, who held meetings in Cyprus on Tuesday with President Christofias and President of the right – wing Democratic Rally (DISY) party Nicos Anastasiades, said that “we are convinced that initiatives such as the direct trade will not help, will hinder, will be an obstacle for a global solution.”
He added that the EPP is opposing this regulation and “is seeking a consensus among the leaders of the main political forces in the European Parliament not to accept it.”
Referring to the Cyprus problem, he said that the EPP is in favor of a comprehensive solution in Cyprus as recognized by the UN.
“I am convinced that only a federation of the two communities could be a real solution for Cyprus and we will support all efforts in that direction, the negotiation has to be realized by the leaders of the two communities,” he added.
Asked whether the EU should play a more active role as regards efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, Martens said that the Cyprus problem will be solved in the framework of the UN and the negotiations held between the leaderships of the two communities.
“It is for me unthinkable that in the EU at this moment this problem still exists, it is inconceivable,” he said, adding that the EU has the moral responsibility to help.
“We have not only to give good services but on the principles of the EU and the standards of the EU we have to influence both communities and their leadership urgently to come to a solution,” Martens said.
The EU, he said, has the moral responsibility on the basis of its principles of reconciliation and cooperation to influence the Cyprus negotiations.
“The framework is the UN but I am convinced that the prominent leaders of the EU have responsibility to urgently influence these negotiations,” he stressed.
Asked whether he believes there should be fixed timeframes regarding the Cyprus talks, Martens said he cannot answer this question, since he is not directly involved in the process.
But he said he would discuss about his visit to Cyprus with his EPP colleagues the Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers during the next EPP Summit.