FM meets with Cyprus parliament chief

Greek foreign minister Stavros Lambrinidis reiterated the Greek government's firm support for the Cypriot people's efforts, during a meeting on Friday with the visiting Cyprus House of Representatives' new president Giannakis Omirou.
Lambrinidis, greeting Omirou before the meeting, noted that they are united by common struggles in the past for strengthening the Republic of Cyprus, and expressed hope that the efforts being made by the Greek Cypriot community will soon bear fruit.
He also said that his recent visit to Cyprus -- his first visit abroad after assuming the helm of the Greek foreign ministry -- had been both of a symbolic and essential nature.
Lambrinidis further wished Omirou the best of luck in his new duties.
Omirou, in turn, said that his first visit to Greece in his new capacity as House president was taking place for reasons of substance, "as it symbolises the common course of the two peoples".
He also noted his cooperation with Lambrinidis in the latter's former position as head of the Greek ruling PASOK party group of Eurodeputies, adding that they will be in close contact for the advancement of the shared goals of the two countries.

Parliament President reassures of support to Cyprus

President of the Hellenic Parliament Filippos Petsalnikos reassured on Friday that one of Greece's top priorities is the achievement of a just solution in Cyprus adding that ''the struggle of the people of Cyprus is a struggle for Greece as well''.
His statements were made during a meeting he held in Athens with President of the House of Representatives Yiannakis Omirou, who is currently paying a working visit to Greece.
Omirou expressed the gratitude of the people and the government of Cyprus towards Greece for its long lasting support and reassured of Cyprus' support to Greece so that the country successfully overcomes the economic difficulties it faces.
During their meeting, they agreed to further enhance the protocol of cooperation between the two Parliaments and to have a more effective coordination in European and international fora.
Receiving his Cypriot counterpart, the President of the Hellenic Parliament spoke on behalf of all political parties of Greece saying ''we stand by the side of the Republic of Cyprus in its efforts for justice on the island''.
''We support the ongoing negotiations of President Christofias in order to reach a mutually acceptable solution in the framework of the UNSC resolutions and the European acquis communautaire'', he added.
Petsalnikos noted that ''we know that the Cyprus negotiations are hard'' and wished for the Cyprus talks to proceed, noting the importance of the July 7th meeting between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN Secretary General.
''The struggle of the people of Cyprus is at the same time the struggle of the Greek people and the Cyprus issue is among the first priorities of Greece's policy'', he stressed.
In his statements, Omirou expressed the gratitude of the people of Cyprus towards Greece for its support as regards the Cyprus issue, saying that the objective is to reach a solution that would restore human rights and fundamental freedoms of all the people of Cyprus.
Referring to the forthcoming July 7th meeting, Omirou stressed that what Cyprus expects from the UN is to abide by the UN Security Council resolutions on Cyprus.
The Turkish side, he pointed out, must realise that it has to abandon its intransigent stance and its positions which lead to a solution in Cyprus based on a confederation and a two states solution.
In addition, Omirou referred to Turkey's EU prospect, saying that Greece and Cyprus are in favor of Turkey joining the EU, provided that Ankara meets its EU obligations, just like every pre-accession country. ''Turkey's accession course must not be a-la-carte,'' he pointed out.
He also recalled that based on a European Council decision, Turkey should have recognised the Republic of Cyprus already in 2006 and should have implemented the Ankara Protocol and cooperated for a solution of the Cyprus problem, based on the EU principles.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The leaders of the two communities are currently
engaged in UN-led negotiations with an aim to reunify the island. They are scheduled to meet with the UN Secretary General in Geneva on July 7.

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