Mr. Harlem Désir, Minister of State in charge of European Affairs, is visiting Cyprus to attend the Third Ministerial Meeting of the MedGroup which is held on 25 and 26 February in Limassol and deals with the situation in Syria and Libya and with the relations between the EU and the Arab countries. He decided to take advantage of his presence on the island to hold meetings on bilateral issues and the negotiations process. He has in this framework been received by the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades. He also met with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Mr. Mustafa Akinci, and le Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General, Mr Espen Barth Eide.
Bilateral relations between France and Cyprus were discussed during the audience with President Anastasiades, notably in the economic and commercial sectors, as well as the cooperation in the field of security and the fight against terrorism. The President and the Minister of State acknowledged our excellent relations and agreed on the fact that they could be deepened, particularly in these sectors. Mr. Désir also underlined that France attaches great importance to its dialogue with Cyprus regarding regional stakes and challenges and welcomed the fact that they could be discussed in Cyprus on the occasion of the Med-Group ministerial meeting. Inter-communal negotiations were also discussed. The State Minister reaffirmed the firm support of France to this process and his satisfaction that the EU is now fully engaged, together with the United Nations, in accompanying the reunification process.
The meeting between the Minister of State and the leader of the Turkish-Cypriot community, Mr. Mustafa Akinci, gave also the opportunity to take stock of the negotiations process. Reiterating the full support of France to the talks, Mr. Désir underlined his appreciation of the progresses achieved up to now. He underlined as well the importance of the work done by the parties with the support of United Nations and the European Commission, and in particular the efforts made to help the Turkish Cypriot community implement fully the acquis communautaire, which he encouraged.
The discussion with Espen Barth Eide, Special Advisor to the Secretary General, provided the opportunity to hear his perception of the negotiation process’ evolutions and the efforts that have to be made in view of the reunification of the island. The position of the United Nations and the European Union in support to this process have been extensively covered. Mr Désir reiterated the support of France to Mr Eide’s efforts.