By Kyriacos Kyriacou – Nicosia
Prime Minister of Denmark, Helle Thorning-Shmidt, stated that the whole international community appreciates the President of the Cyprus’s personal efforts towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem and unify the divided island. During her visit yesterday in Cyprus, the Prime Minister met with President Nicos Anastasiades. In the meantime, the Greek Cypriot negotiator, Andreas Mavroyiannis, will be in Ankara next Thursday to meet Turkish officials handling the Cyprus problem.
Meeting on board
The meeting between Helle Thorning-Shmidt and Nicos Anastasiades, took place on board the Danish frigate HDMS Esbern Snare, which leads the Danish-Norwegian-British task force involved in the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons under the OPCW-UN Joint Mission.
Following the meeting, in her remarks to the press, the Danish Prime Minister said that “we just had an excellent meeting; I congratulated the President for the joint declaration that was agreed last week. The joint declaration signed by Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders, Nicos Anastasiades and Dervis Eroglou, which is based on a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality, restarted the peace talks for the unification of the island.
“It is a spectacular and perhaps historic time that I am here today in Cyprus, and I really wished the President well in his endeavors to make this reunification happen”, said Helle Thoringn-Shmidt and added: “It is a special time in history, and I told him how much me and the whole international community appreciate his personal efforts to make this change in Cyprus that has been divided too long.”
On his part, the President said that “I expressed our warmest thanks for their help during 1964-1992 in the United Nations peacekeeping force. It was a very interesting meeting and I would like to thank (Denmark) for what they have done until now and what they intend to do in order to help us in find a peaceful solution to the Cyprus matter.” He then told the Prime Minister that “we look forward to seeing you back in Cyprus.”
Chemical weapons in Syria
Asked about the cost of Denmark’s operation with regard to the Syrian chemical weapons in view of a delay in Syria, the Prime Minister said that “I am still cautiously optimistic in terms of keeping the time frame that we have adopted, but it is important that we put some pressure on the Syrians to live up to their part of the bargain, and we are here to fulfill the task. We have a mandate, we have the ship, we have the operational tools to fulfill this task and this is why we are here. It is very important. We talk about chemical weapons used to kill a thousand people and that is why this task is very, very important. I used the opportunity in the conversation we had (with the President) to thank the Cypriots for helping this task. It shouldn’t be underestimated that by helping with this task and being so welcoming it is a tremendous help for fulfilling this Danish task to get the chemical weapons out of Syria.”
Greek Cypriot negotiator in Ankara
After the restart of the peace talks for the unification of Cyprus and the agreement on the joint declaration between Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders, the Greek Cypriot negotiator, Andreas Mavroyiannis, will visit Ankara next Thursday to meet Turkish officials handling the Cyprus matter. His counterpart, the Turkish Cypriot Kudret Ozersay, will visit Athens next week. He is expected to meet with Greek foreign affairs ministry officials.