Le Drian says France stands ready to help Cyprus


French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says Cyprus and France and the presidents of the two countries both wish for further cooperation, while also expressing support for restarting peace talks.

Le Drian, who was on working visit to Nicosia on Friday, held a press conference alongside his counterpart, Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, following their meeting.

“Cooperation between the countries is impeccable,” Le Drian said, noting that French warships dock in the island and expressing thanks to the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus.

The French top diplomat also expressed support for the ongoing efforts to reach a settlement to the Cyprus issue, highlighting that a solution ought to be compatible with the European acquis.

Le Drian also expressed the view that following Cyprus’ accession into the EU in 2004, “the Cyprus issue became a European issue as well.”

“We wish for the negotiations to start again, taking into consideration what had been achieved in previous talks,” Le Drian said, adding that France remains at the disposal of all Cypriots to help restart the talks to achieve a fair settlement.

Christodoulides told the press that the two men reaffirmed that the two countries shared common interests and objectives in many areas.

The Cypriot foreign minister added that such commonalities create positive prospects for further extending and deepening the close cooperation between the two states.

Le Drian’s contacts in Nicosia also focused on issues such as immigration and other European and regional issues, including developments in the Eastern Mediterranean according to CNA News Agency.

President Nicos Anastasiades greeted Le Drian and had a half-hour meeting with him, along with Christodoulides as well as Defence Minister Savvas Angelides and Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis.

[Kathimerini Cyprus]