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09-01-2019 13:40

Remarks by the President of the Republic and the President of Slovenia

The excellent level of the bilateral relations between Cyprus and Slovenia was pointed out, today, by the President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, and the President of Slovenia, Mr Borut Pahor, while underlining, at the same time, the desire of both countries to strengthen these relations even further.

In his remarks to the media, at the Presidential Palace in Ljubljana, where he paid an official visit, and following the talks between the delegations of the two countries, President Anastasiades said, among other things, that "today's visit and in particular the constructive meeting that I had with President Borut Pahor, as well as the meetings with Prime Minister Marjan Sarec and the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Dezan Zidan, provided us with the opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest, mainly the deepening of Europe, cooperation and the thwarting of dangers that appear.

During our meeting, today, we had the opportunity to affirm the excellent level of our bilateral relations and to exchange views on important European and regional issues that trouble either the Balkans or the Middle East."

With regard to the Cyprus problem, the President of the Republic referred to the latest developments and "our determination to continue cooperating with the Secretary General of the United Nations for a productive dialogue that will allow us to achieve a solution compatible with the European acquis and with international law; a solution that will respect the human rights of the Cypriot citizens as a whole, and which will establish a functional state, and which will allow us to create conditions of permanent stability and peace, in a country which for some 44 years now is experiencing the violation of human rights. I had the opportunity to express special thanks and gratitude for the principled position that Slovenia has been adopting over the years with regard to the solution of the Cyprus problem, and for its active participation in the area through the presence of a military contingent in UNFICYP, from 1997 to 2001."

In concluding, the President extended an invitation to his Slovenian counterpart to visit Cyprus.

On his part, the President of Slovenia said, among other things, speaking through an interpreter, that the two countries believe in the idea of Europe and they see through it peace, security and prosperity.

He added that multilateral relations are very important for Slovenia and for Cyprus and noted that the two countries are defenders of international law.

In response to a question by a reporter, as to what are the possibilities for the reunification of Cyprus, the President of the Republic said that "the most essential issue is the military occupation, the presence of 40 thousand troops; second, the violation of the human rights of the Greek Cypriots who have been violently displaced from their ancestral homes; third, Turkey's demands for the continuation of the anachronistic security system that includes Turkish guarantees and intervention rights by Turkey in Cyprus, to keep these rights in place after the solution of the Cyprus problem, along with the presence of Turkish troops. At the same time, there are also differences between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots but I am certain that there are also ways for their solution as the UN Secretary General has suggested through the framework that was submitted at Crans Montana in 2017, and which provided for the replacement of the anachronistic guarantees and intervention rights, the effective functioning of the state, and above all respect for international law; but also with regard to the differences between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots about the functionality, the durability of the solution and other issues, there is an easy way forward and that is the acceptance of the principles and values of the EU.

Cyprus is an EU member state and by implementing everything that the rest of the European states do, inevitably logic will prevail that will provide durability and functionality to the solution as well as permanent peace. With these our side tries in every way to start a dialogue on the basis of the parameters of the Secretary General, the Resolutions of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly, and on the basis of the principles that all the member states of the EU are governed by. If there will be good will and sincere disposition on the part of Turkey, we can achieve permanent and durable peace, also for the benefit of the relations with Turkey, and for the prevalence of peace and stability in the broader region."