President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades met on Friday in Brussels with the Presidents of the European Council and Commission, Herman van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso respectively.

The meeting, which took place after the EU Council, focused on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem.

Sources said both van Rompuy and Barroso showed a vivid interest in a settlement, mainly due to the fact that they consider the Cyprus issue to be a European matter, that a settlement could give a dynamic to Turkey`s EU accession course, and that there were energy considerations.

The European officials, according to the sources, view President Anastasiades` proposal for confidence-building measures positively, and believe this could be implemented with the launching of talks for a settlement.

They furthermore believe the Cypriot proposal for a greater EU involvement is positive but wish that this issue is discussed at a later stage, when the process for a solution is underway.

After the meeting, President Anastasiades and Barroso held a separate meeting, during which Barroso expressed satisfaction over the implementation of the bailout agreement by Cyprus, the positive developments on the fiscal front, and the expectations for a milder recession than estimated for this year.

Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

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