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Nicosia says talks should resume from where they left off

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The aim of the Greek Cypriot side is to resume the UN-sponsored talks from where they left of in Crans-Montana last July, Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides has said.

Replying to a question on the imminent visit by UN Secretary-General’s envoy, Jane Hall Lute, Christodoulides said Lute’s visit is very important showing the UN chief’s personal interest on the Cyprus problem.

“Our wish and expectation is that through these meetings will lead to the conditions which would enable us to resume talks from where they left off in Crans Montana,” the Cypriot FM said.

“That is the sole aim of our side and we hope for a response from all interested parties to achieve the aforementioned target, the resumption of the talks from they left off in Crans Montana,” Christodoulides added.

Replying to a question, Christodoulides said the remarks made by the Turkish side “surely are not helpful,” adding “we are focused on the substance.”

Pointing out that Lute will begin contacts on Monday with a meeting with the Cyprus President, while she will visit Britain, Greece and Turkey but also Brussels, Christodoulides said “our wish and our expectation is (for Mrs Lute) to meet such approaches that would pave the way for the resumption of the talks.”

“That is our focus and we are not interested in a blame-game or public statements. We are interested in the substance which will determine whether the elements are in place for the resumption of the talks and that is the President’s clear wish and expectation,” he went on to say.

Christodoulides along with his Lebanese counterpart, Gebran Bassil, attended ceremony for the departure of two windsurfers who will travel from Larnaca to Batroun, Lebanon in the context of the Batroun International Festival.

“Today’s event within the context of the International Batroun Festival proves the closeness of our countries which reflects also our political, economic and people relationships. We are looking forward to work together to even enhance more these relationship through these kinds of events which are very – very important especially in order to bring our people closer together,” Christodoulides said.

On his part, Bassil said “the sea is a way of communication not a barrier, adding the event shows the closeness and the proximity which Lebanon and Cyprus have.

“I hope this will push us to strengthen our bilateral relations in tourism mainly where we can really enhance them by having a bilateral agreement and enhancing the tourism between the two countries,” he concluded.