Norway will continue to provide support to Cyprus both politically and economically, says new ambassador

Norway will continue to provide support to Cyprus both politically and economically, said here Friday, Ambassador of Norway Frode Overland Andersen presenting his credentials to Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades.

Inter alia we have funded peace and reconciliation efforts in Cyprus through the International Peace Research institute in Oslo (PRIO). We will continue to do so for the time to come, he added.

He assured of his governments continuing support for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus.

Norway, he said, sincerely hopes that it will be possible to find a solution that will reunite the two communities in Cyprus.

A settlement should not be imposed by somebody else from outside but has to be the product of a genuine agreement between both sides on Cyprus. We hope that you will succeed in finding a framework that would make it possible to restart the talks that ended in Crans Montana in 2017, he added.

Andersen said that Norwegian contributions through the EEA-grant agreement has opened up new possibilities for strengthening our bilateral relations. In March 2019 Norway, together with our EEA partners Lichtenstein and Iceland, signed a new cooperation agreement for the coming period up to 2021. Combined with our own bilateral Norway Grants, he mentioned, the total amount available is Euro 11,5 million.

He said that as agreed with the Cyprus government the aim of the funds are to strengthen the civil society, facilitate bi-communal cooperation, improve health care and social services and to reduce the vulnerability to climate change.

Receiving the credentials, the President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades said that Cyprus highly values Norway’s consistent support towards our efforts to reach a comprehensive and viable settlement on the Cyprus problem, on the basis of international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions on Cyprus.

A support which becomes even more important amidst a period of continued violations by Turkey, such as the illegal drilling operations within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, as well as actions and statements alluding to plans of the Turkish side for a potential opening of Varosha. The aforesaid actions do not only contradict the UN Charter and international law, but they also pose a threat to peace and stability in Cyprus and our immediate region and run contrary to the necessity of having a positive climate in place, conducive to resuming negotiations, he added.

President Anastasiades assured of his unwavering commitment to the peace process under the United Nations Good Offices Mission and to continuing the negotiations on the six-point framework the UN Secretary-General has set as the basis for the way forward.

I take this opportunity to reiterate my strong will and determination for a positive conclusion of the tripartite meeting with the UN Secretary-General and the Turkish Cypriot leader on November 25, 2019, in Berlin. The reunification of Cyprus and its people after 45 years of Turkish occupation is long overdue. In the face of this perpetuated injustice, the aim of reaching a lasting and comprehensive settlement, which would safeguard the sovereign, independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus, without any third country dependencies, military troops and guarantees, cannot wane, he added.

He said that despite Turkey’s continued illegal actions in Cyprus’ maritime zones, he remains strongly committed and determined to do his utmost to support the efforts of the UN Secretary-General to create the necessary conditions in order for the talks to resume.

At the same time, we do hope that our Turkish Cypriot compatriots will fully abide to the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions which call for the return and resettlement of Varosha by its rightful and lawful owners and inhabitants and abandon their actions or any plans which are in clear violation of the 1979 High-Level Agreement between the leaders of the two communities and the UN Security Council Resolutions 414 (1977), 442 (1980), 550 (1984) and 789 (1992), he concluded.

Source: Cyprus News Agency