Nicosia, November 9, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Kyriacos Kyriacou
The President of the Republic`s visit to Jordan, Israel and Palestine strengthens Cyprus` role in the region as well as bilateral relations, stated here Monday Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides.
Speaking to reporters on the sideline of a Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry conference, Christodoulides said during Nicos Anastasiades` visits, relations on energy issues will be beefed up.
He told reporters that the President`s visits to Jordan, Israel and Palestine are a proof of the excellent relations with neighbouring countries and also strengthen Cyprus` role as an EU representative in the region since it is a state that knows the concerns of regional countries and can convey the situation at EU for a without bias.
The Spokesman said there are important bilateral issues that will be on the agenda such as energy, bilateral relations, the migrants crisis as well as the President`s initiative to invite Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas to speak before EU leaders at separate events.
During the President`s urgent trip to the EU Council summit in Malta this week that will address the migrant crisis, Anastasiades will convey the concerns of the Jordanian government and its call for support, the Spokesman added.
Answering questions, Christodoulides said there is a rich agenda and as far as the energy sector is concerned, a Cooperation Memorandum has been signed with Jordan by Minister of Energy George Lakkotrypis while an important dialogue is underway with Israel.
The Spokesman said efforts with Jordan continue to either participate in the tripartite meeting with Egypt (and Greece) or for a new tripartite meeting to be held with Greece, Cyprus and Jordan.
Regarding the Cyprus issue, the Spokesman said the intensified dialogue continues and the leaders have met twice where they discussed the property, governance and citizenship issues. Further guiding lines have been granted to the two negotiators to discuss these issues for the next leaders` meeting on 18 November.
Christodoulides said the debate on the property issue is expected to dominate discussions and “we hope that through the dialogue underway, there will conditions that allow us to hope for a more positive result”.
Answering a relevant question, the Spokesman said that no one is more in a rush to find a solution than the Greek Cypriot side because the island is under occupation. “it is for this reason that the dialogue takes place and we hope that the conditions will be created to reach an outcome that will end the occupation and reunite our country, “he added.
Regarding the Commission`s report on Turkey, the Spokesman said that it is before the College of Commissioners and the government has not seen the document yet. “We will have to see the document beforehand and will make a statement accordingly”, he added.
On Turkey`s accession course, he said it is a procedure that requires the consensus of all 28 member states, adding that the Republic of Cyprus wants more than any other member state, for Turkey`s accession course to proceed but this solely depends on Turkey implementing its very clear obligations towards the EU.
Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN backed talks between Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci began in May this year aiming to reunify the island under a federal roof.