Posted by D from 126.96.36.199.cfl.rr.com (188.8.131.52) on Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 7:59PM :
he Special Representative for Cyprus at the Russian Foreign Ministry, Mr Vladimir Prygin, had separate meetings in Nicosia, yesterday, with the President of the Republic Mr Tassos Papadopoulos and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Georgios Iacovou, who briefed him on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem.
Speaking after the meeting with President Papadopoulos, Mr Prygin said that his country supports the resumption of the UN talks between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on the basis of the Annan plan, which is the only way towards the reunification of the island. The talks/ process is an important contact and communication channel between the two sides and contributes to reducing tension on the island, he said.
Russia will continue to maintain a stance of principle and will insist consistently on finding a just, permanent, viable and workable solution of the Cyprus problem on the basis of the UN Security Council resolutions, he said.
Mr Prygin noted that with the solution plan put forward by the UN Secretary General Mr Kofi Annan and the signing of the EU Accession Treaty by Cyprus, an active and intense phase in the search for a Cyprus settlement had ended and expressed regret over the collapse of UN efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, due to the negative stance of the Turkish Cypriot side.
The Russian official said that the measures, announced by President Papadopoulos in favour of the Turkish Cypriots and the partial lifting of restrictions on the movement of citizens by the Turkish occupation regime, are serious steps in the right direction and contribute towards improving the climate of understanding and confidence between the two sides. The measures are proof of the will of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to live together peacefully, he added.
The Russian Representative stressed that this positive development does not constitute the final solution of the problem but expressed the hope that it would give a push to the continuation of the efforts to find a political settlement.
Mr Prygin conveyed, along with Russia's Ambassador to Cyprus, an invitation to President Papadopoulos from Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit the country around the end of May to participate in the Russia-EU summit and in the 300 year celebrations since the establishment of St. Petersburg.
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