Russian FM favors participation of SC permanent members at an international Conference on Cyprus

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says it is necessary to continue with the dialogue, in order to reach a settlement in Cyprus, adding that there is no alternative option. At the same time, he says that Moscow has put forward a logical proposal over the participation of the permanent members of the UN Security Council at an international Conference on Cyprus, where the external aspects of a Cyprus settlement will be discussed.

In an interview with Simerini weekly, published today, Russia’s top diplomat says President Anastasiades’ support towards this idea (of permanent members participating at an international Conference on Cyprus) � which was expressed both in front of the General Assembly and during his recent visit to Moscow � will contribute in the formation of a new system of security and guarantees, that will meet modern realities and the interests of Cyprus.

He adds that Moscow’s position remains unchanged, in support of restoring Cyprus’ independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity, in a way that reflects the interest of Cypriots themselves, as well as the aim of preserving peace in the Eastern Mediterranean. The path towards this goal passes through a comprehensive, permanent and viable Cyprus solution, Lavrov underlines.

Speaking about the internal aspects of a Cyprus solution, the Russian Foreign Minister says their settlement is the prerogative of the two sides. He adds that Russia will support any decisions taken by Cypriots, keeping in mind the legal rights of the two Cypriot communities.

He notes moreover that any efforts to impose ready solutions from outside are unacceptable and refers to Moscow’s proposal for the participation of all Security Council permanent members, including Russia, in the discussion for the external aspects of the settlement and the international Conference on Cyprus.

Asked about bilateral relations, the Foreign Minister of the Russia Federation says there are good prospects, noting in particular the rise in trading and cooperation prospects in the field of energy and green technologies.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest round of UN-peace talks commenced at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana on June 28, 2017, but in the early hours of July 7, it was announced that the Conference on Cyprus ended without an agreement. Talks held under the auspices of the UN aim at reunifying Cyprus under a federal roof.

Two people were killed in a shooting attack west of the Egyptian capital Cairo early Sunday, according to the country’s Health Ministry.

Eight other people were injured when gunmen opened fire on a cafe in the al-Amirya village, west of Cairo, ministry spokesman Khaled Mujahed said.

A security source said two masked gunmen on a motorbike opened fire on cafe-goers in the village and fled the scene unscathed.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, of which the motives were not clear.

The attack comes amid a tightening of security across Egypt ahead of Christmas celebrations in the country.

Source: Cyprus News Agency