Re­uni­fi­ca­tion an im­por­tant ob­jec­tive for EU, says Aus­tria’s Fis­cher

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Aus­tria’s Pres­i­dent Heinz Fis­cher said that his coun­try is closely fol­low­ing de­vel­op­ments on the is­land and that the re­uni­fi­ca­tion of Cyprus is an im­por­tant ob­jec­tive for the EU and the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

Fis­cher, speak­ing af­ter a meet­ing and talks at the Pres­i­den­tial Palace in Ni­cosia with host Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades, said that in his coun­try, they “closely mon­i­tor de­vel­op­ments in Cyprus and that the re­uni­fi­ca­tion of Cyprus is an im­por­tant ob­jec­tive. Ne­go­ti­a­tions seem to be promis­ing,” he added and ex­pressed op­ti­mism that Pres­i­dent Anas­tasi­ades and Turk­ish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will reach an agree­ment for the ben­e­fit of the cit­i­zens of Cyprus and in the in­ter­est of Europe it­self.

Pres­i­dent Anas­tasi­ades said that the EU’s role and ac­tive in­volve­ment and sup­port is vi­tal, par­tic­u­larly now that the ne­go­ti­a­tions have en­tered an in­ten­sive phase.

Anas­tasi­ades and Fis­cher had a pri­vate meet­ing and at­tended of­fi­cial talks where the del­e­ga­tions of the two coun­tries signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing in the fields of ed­u­ca­tion, cul­ture and the arts by the Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion and Cul­ture Costas Kadis and the Fed­eral Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion and Women’s Af­fairs of Aus­tria Gabrielle Heinisch.

Dur­ing their meet­ing the two Pres­i­dents dis­cussed bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and co­op­er­a­tion both within the EU and at in­ter­na­tional level, the Cyprus is­sue and the role EU can play to re­solve it, the un­prece­dented hu­man­i­tar­ian im­mi­gra­tion cri­sis, Ukraine and en­ergy de­vel­op­ments in the area.

Wel­com­ing Pres­i­dent Fis­cher Pres­i­dent Anas­tasi­ades spoke of a true friend of Cyprus, even say­ing that their friend­ship goes back 20 years when the Pres­i­dent of Aus­tria as the Head then of an Aus­trian par­lia­men­tary del­e­ga­tion vis­ited Cyprus in the frame­work of the Con­fer­ence of the In­ter­par­lia­men­tary Union Work.

He re­ferred to the ex­cel­lent level of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions, reaf­firmed dur­ing the con­tacts be­tween the two Pres­i­dents and the ex­cel­lent co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Cyprus and Aus­tria both within the EU and in­ter­na­tion­ally.

“We agreed to iden­tify new ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion in or­der to ex­pand and deepen our re­la­tion­ships - th­ese could be ar­eas such as trade, cul­ture, ed­u­ca­tion,” he said. He also ex­pressed grat­i­tude for the con­tri­bu­tion of Aus­tria to UNFICYP for over 50 years.

The Aus­trian Pres­i­dent noted that bi­lat­eral re­la­tions re very friendly, ex­cel­lent and re­li­able, and said that he has vis­ited twice Cyprus and as Pres­i­dent of Aus­tria has been here on sev­eral oc­ca­sions, some­times for hol­i­days with his wife and chil­dren be­cause.

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