Bulgaria hopes for a new start of negotiations for Cyprus

Bulgaria’s new Ambassador, Lyubomir Todorov, expressed the hope for a new start of negotiations for Cyprus. He also said his country expects a fair, comprehensive and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem within the UN framework.

Presenting his credentials on Monday to President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades, Todorov assured that he will not spare any efforts in the process of deepening the interaction of the two countries in bilateral, European and global domains.

He said bilateral relations between the two countries are excellent, there are no unsolved issues and the political dialogue is active and fruitful. I believe that in the very near future we will have the opportunity to carry out new meetings on high level with the aim of further strengthening and deepening our co-operation. I am confident that the direct contacts between Bulgarian and Cypriot government offices can bring to concrete positive results, he remarked.

Todorov said as far as economic relations and trade turnover, there is still an unused potential and it is the case with our two countries, despite that the commercial exchange marks significant growth during the last years. I believe that with joint efforts we will be able to find these additional resources which will accelerate our economic co-operation and will maximize potential opportunities in the areas of trade, economy, tourism and transport, he assured.

The new ambassador turned to the issue of energy, noting he truly hopes that the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Cyprus will be able to solve successfully. I consider that here we have a broad basis for exchange of views and to discuss possible liaison.

Regarding the Cyprus problem, he said the Republic of Bulgaria shares the suffering of Cyprus, its partition and the negative consequences as a result of this. We hope for a new start of negotiations and believe that this is the true path towards united Cyprus within the European Union. The Bulgarian standing on the Cyprus issue stays integral and consistent. We expect the achievement of a fair, comprehensive and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem within the UN framework, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and in line with the principles on which the European Union is founded, he added.

Furthermore, he said there is still potential between the two countries to develop the cultural ties and the educational co-operation, especially the contacts between Universities in the fields of scientific research and protection of cultural heritage. Todorov said thousands of Cypriot nationals have graduated from Bulgarian Universities and that this process still continues. The presence of a large number of Bulgarian nationals in the Republic of Cyprus, who are contributing for the economic development of the island, is a kind of cultural bridge which continues the longstanding historic ties and cultural proximity between the Bulgarian and Cypriot peoples. Allow me to add one more significant factor � our common Orthodox Christian faith.

Receiving the credentials, President Anastasiades said the government will work closely with the ambassador to further advance the already excellent bilateral relations between the two countries.

Cyprus and Bulgaria share long-standing ties of friendship and bilateral relations have steadily grown, leading to a substantive dialogue and relationship marked by excellent cooperation in many areas, including commerce, investment and culture.

Evident of the continuous enhancement of our relations, he said, is the fact that Cyprus now ranks as the sixth largest investor in Bulgaria and expressed certainty that this promising positive trend will continue to develop and deepen in the years to come. Furthermore, the ties between the two countries are enhanced through the dynamic presence of Bulgarian community of 30.000 people who live and work in Cyprus, which enriches the cultural fabric of the Cypriot society and contributes to the Cypriot economy.

He thanked Bulgaria for its principled position on the Cyprus problem, and the country’s steadfast support to our efforts to end the Turkish occupation and reunify our island through a viable and comprehensive settlement, in line with the relevant UN Security council resolutions and EU law, values and principles.

President Anastasiades said his top priority remains none other than addressing the unacceptable current state of affairs with the continuing Turkish occupation of 37% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, since there is no doubt that lasting peace and stability can only be achieved through the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus Problem. Noting he remains strongly committed to resuming the negotiating process, the President said that said that what is required is to create those necessary conditions that will allow the dialogue to resume on the basis of good will and constructive stance from all stakeholders, particularly by the Turkish side, in order to safeguard the positive outcome of the negotiations.

President Anastasiades said his most important political aim has always been, and will continue to be, to reach a viable, functional and comprehensive settlement, one that will safeguard an independent and committed to European democratic values foreign policy. The present status quo is not a sustainable option, he emphasised.

Regarding the current state of play, the President reminded that Special Envoy appointed by the UN Secretary � General, Jane Holl Lute, has held three separate meetings with all parties involved with the aim of agreeing on the Terms of Reference as to the methodology of a new negotiating process.

I truly wish that both our Turkish Cypriots compatriots and Turkey will respond positively to the new prospect that is unfolding again upon us, taking into account, in a comprehensive manner and without being selective, the provisions set by the Secretary-General at the Conference in Crans-Montana, the President added.

Source: Cyprus News Agency