Cyprus problem is European problem says French Ambassador

French Ambassador in Nicosia René Troccaz has said that the Cyprus problem is also a European problem and not just a UN matter and has reiterated his country`s readiness as an EU member state and a UN Security Council Permanent Member to help in the effort for a solution to be reached.

Troccaz was speaking to the press after a meeting he had on Thursday with AKEL Secretary General Andros Kyprianou.

France he said, wishes for a solution to be found in the Cyprus problem.

“This solution, is firstly, certainly a matter for Cypriots, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, but as an EU member state, which has to do with an important facet of the solution of the Cyprus problem, we also have some responsibility,” he noted.

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Referring to the meeting he had with Kyprianou, he said they had a very interesting discussion over these matters.

Asked whether France will be present at the conference in Geneva in January Troccaz said that this is something which needs to be determined.

“We have said what our intentions are,” he pointed out, adding that we are not seeking to assert anything.

“What we wish to do is to be useful and to help in the effort to resolve the Cyprus problem,” Troccaz noted.

Certainly, he said, the EU has a say in this. He recalled that during the EU Summit which takes place on Thursday President Anastasiades will ask for the support of the other EU member states and for the support of France which should be taken for granted.

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Referring to the conference on Cyprus set to take place in January in Geneva he said that France has expressed its readiness to help to all sides as a member state of the Security Council but added that “it is not up to us.”

What we have conveyed is our willingness to help, he concluded.

On his part Andros Kyprianou said that their meeting was very friendly and constructive and said that his party`s view is that the international conference will exclusively deal with matters pertaining to security. The internal aspect of the Cyprus problem, Kyprianou added, is a matter which should resolved between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

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Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in UN-backed talks since May 2015, with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

President Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci decided to meet in Geneva on January 9 2017. On January 11 they will present their respective maps and from January 12, a Conference on Cyprus will be convened with the added participation of the guarantor powers, while other relevant parties shall be invited as needed.

— (KYPE)