The AKEL delegation in Moscow headed by the General Secretary of the Party Andros Kyprianou had a meeting today with the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Mr. Sergey Lavrov. The meeting lasted approximately 40 minutes and according to the General Secretary of AKEL, who spoke to the Cyprus News Agency (CAN), it was a very friendly and constructive meeting.
In the discussion between them, the General Secretary of AKEL briefed the Russian Foreign Minister on the latest developments surrounding the Cyprus problem and about the issues that are still pending.
“We said to him how important it is to resolve these outstanding issues, so that we can agree to a solution. We agreed first of all that there cannot be any timeframes or arbitration imposed and that the solution must be the result of the free will of the Cypriots, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots,” the General Secretary of AKEL stated to the CNA.
He said that he also informed the Russian Foreign Minister about the issues related to security in particular and Mr. Lavrov was quite clear that there cannot be any guarantees and that he agrees that there should be some kind of an agreement for a brief transitional period. “
In addition, Mr. Lavrov agrees that there a strong United Nations Security Council resolution must be adopted, which essentially should call for whatever agreement is reached to be respected by all,” said the General Secretary of AKEL.
On the territorial issue he said he explained to his interlocutor the Greek Cypriot side’s position that such territories must be returned, that would enable approximately 100,000 Greek Cypriot refugees to return to their properties under Greek Cypriot administration administration or under central government rule.
“We also discussed our proposal for the Karpas peninsula that must be returned to its rightful owners under Central Government rule, as well as the property issue. We set out our approach on this issue too and I must say that Mr. Lavrov approaches these issues in an extremely positively”, Mr. Kyprianou told the CNA.
The Russian Foreign Minister also made it clear during the meeting that his country is ready to contribute to the efforts to solve the Cyprus problem and stands ready to provide any kind of assistance judged that it can to do so.
Asked if the agreement signed by Russia yesterday with Turkey was discussed at all, Mr. Kyprianou explained that reference was made in the sense that his interlocutor said to him that the Cyprus problem was not discussed yesterday as issues of bilateral interest were discussed.
“However, it was clear from the discussions we had that the improvement of Russia’s relations with Turkey does not affect the substance of its positions on the Cyprus problem”, he noted.
Replying to a question if the recent statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry on the need for the procedure to be under Cypriot ownership and on the need to avoid outside interventions was raised at all during the discussions, Mr. Kyprianou said that Mr. Lavrov reiterated this position in a categorical way.
“That is to say that the solution must be the result of the free will of Cypriots and that there mustn’t be any outside intervention,” he said.
Mr. Kyprianou and the AKEL delegation also had a brief meeting with Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the Duma Foreign Affairs Committee.
“We discussed issues of cooperation, both at the level of the Council of Europe and bilaterally,” he noted.
The AKEL delegation’s contacts in Moscow continued in the afternoon with meetings, inter alia, with political parties as well.