Lavrov arrives for quick visit
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in Cyprus on Tuesday evening and will be received by President Nicos Anastasiades on Wednesday, a day before US US Secretary of State John Kerry also arrives on the island.
Lavrov will also have talks with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and House President Yiannakis Omirou and is scheduled to meet the Archbishop Chrysostomos, before attending an event at the Russian Embassy to mark 55 years of diplomatic relations.
Lavrov arrived on a private jet at Larnaca airport and was greeted by the Chief of Protocol Marios Kountourides and the Russian Ambassador to Cyprus Stanislav Osadchiy.
In an earlier interview with the Cyprus News Agency, Lavrov said he looked forward to a series of constructive meetings on a wide range of issues, bilateral and international, as well as the assessment of the implementation process of the issues agreed between the Presidents of the two countries. Furthermore, he expressed certainty that the outcome of his meetings will contribute to the further development of the bilateral relations and to the strengthening of trust in the European continent.
Lavrov expressed his country’s gratitude towards Nicosia’s position of principles after the downing of a Russian jet by Turkey, while, referring to the Cyprus issue, he reiterated Russia’s stance for a viable and just solution, based on the relevant UN Security Council decisions, with full respect of the interests of the two communities on the island.
His decision not to cross over to the north to meet with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has caused a stir, countered by a flash visit by Turkish PM Ahemt Davutoglu. The police are on high alert due to the two officials’ visit, according to Justice and Public Order Minister Ionas Nicolaou.
In statements to the press, after signing with the US Ambassador to Cyprus Kathleen Ann Doherty an agreement on enhancing cooperation in preventing and combating serious crime, Ionas Nicolaou said that Doherty thanked “for the cooperation they have up until now with the police as regards the measures to be implemented, and in general for the cooperation that we’ve had in many issues until now.”
Asked about the security measures taken for Lavrov’s and Kerry’s visits, the Minister assured that “all necessary measures are being taken by the police and we expect everything to run smoothly.”
He said that the US Ambassador noted that the measures that have been taken are already obvious, both as regards the security of the US embassy and other venues, the airports and the crossing points.
He noted that Doherty expressed satisfaction that extra security measures are taken “irrespective of whether we have or not – and we do not have – any specific information.”