Cyprus President speaks of regional informal forum operating as lever for security

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has referred to the different regional cooperation agreements his government has forged, noting that a key goal is to establish an informal forum which could evolve into an important lever for security and cooperation in the region as a whole.

President Anastasiades, who was addressing a church service in honour of Saint Maroun in Nicosia, referred in particular to the presence there of Lebanon’s Foreign Affairs Minister Gebran Bassil, noting that it is nothing else but a testament of the excellent relations between Cyprus and Lebanon and of the important role the Maronite community plays in further enhancing and developing them.

Speaking about the Cyprus problem he highlighted the fact that our key and longstanding goal was and continues to be to reach a viable and functional solution of the Cyprus problem, something, which as he said is the foremost obligation but also a necessary restoration of international law and international legal order.

Cyprus President also assured Maronites that he fully adopts and promotes at all times their longstanding requests which have to do with the return of all four Maronite villages which are in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus to their rightful residents.

He expressed the hope that the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey would finally be willing to cooperate through mutual respect, constructively to end occupation and reunify our country in the context of a possible new Conference on Cyprus.

President Anastasiades further expressed his conviction that security and stability constitute a key factor of prosperity in a country, adding that this is why our efforts are not limited in the bi-communal negotiating table.

Our careful steps in recent years, he said, have made Cyprus, despite its small size, a credible country of stability, an actor of regional policy, social and economic cooperation, a contributor of security in the region, by way of undertaking a truthful effort to overcome differences and to establish new bridges of friendship and cooperation with all the countries of our region.

He referred to Cyprus’ initiative together with Greece to form trilateral cooperation agreements with Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine.

In this context specific projects and actions have been launched, always in respect of international law, aiming to a convergence to the common benefit of all participants, without been aimed in any case against the interests of other countries, he stressed.

Our key goal is to get together all our alliances in a regional informal forum which will soon evolve to an important security and cooperation lever for the entire region, President Anastasiades said.

Source: Cyprus News Agency