The relaunch of negotiations, aiming at a fair, viable and mutually acceptable Cyprus settlement, “remains our first priority”, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Monday.

According to an official announcement, the President of the Republic said that “we cannot afford another failure”, while characterizing as desirable, the substantive involvement of the EU in this procedure.

Speaking during a formal ceremony at the Presidential Palace, while receiving the credentials of the new Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark Casper Klynge, President Anastasiades said the settlement must serve, above all, the legitimate interests of the Cypriot people as a whole and not that of any third country.

“The negotiations must be properly and thoroughly prepared in order to ensure that the aforementioned objectives are jointly and unequivocally shared and that the negotiations will bear fruit” the President said.

He referred moreover to outstanding cooperation of Nicosia and Copenhagen, during the Trio EU Presidency (second half of 2011-second half of 2012) and added that it is essential to continue exploring new ways of strengthening cooperation between the two countries, especially in the field of renewable energy.

On the economic hardships, Cypriots are currently facing, the President said that “we are determined to work hard to address the painful consequences of restructuring the economy”. He added that a series of measures have been adopted, towards this end, aiming at increasing Cyprus’ competitiveness and making it more business-friendly.

Presenting his credentials, Klynge said Denmark fully supported the negotiation process and expressed hope that the efforts to come to a viable and lasting agreement to reunify Cyprus will be successful.

The Ambassador said moreover that the negotiations will not be easy, since a Cyprus solution will require demanding compromises and political perseverance on both sides. “However, reaching a result after almost five decades of division will be worth all efforts: he added.

Moreover, he said that Cyprus faces difficult challenges ahead, having been hit hard by the economic crisis. “Through political leadership and the courage to continue to carry through the necessary reforms, I am convinced that the economy of Cyprus will recover and once again flourish” Klynge noted.

He said finally that Denmark and Cyprus share core values and a common vision of a peaceful and prosperous Europe based on democracy, the rule of law and a free market.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. A new round of peace talks is expected to start this autumn, to find a negotiated settlement that will reunify the country, under a federal roof.

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