Armenia Turns to Cyprus as Bridge to EU

NICOSIA (dpa)–Cypriot Parliament President Dimitris Christofias–said that his country can act as a bridge between the European Union and its neighbors–including Armenia–after meeting with Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian–who is on a working visit to the island.

The latest developmen’s in Cyprus were discussed–as well as the prospect of enhanced bilateral cooperation. "Friendly relations–development of economic and cultural exchanges–when accompanied by practical steps–become more solid," Christofias said.

Noting the absence of political differences between the two countries–Christofias said that they will continue to cooperate in international organizations–along with an increased focus on economic development.

Meanwhile–Oskanian also met with his Cyprus counterpart George Iacovou–where on the meeting’s agenda were Cyprus’ accession to the EU–the problems in the Caucasus–and the Karabagh issue. Oskanian said–"We see Cyprus as a friendly country–as an insider in the EU–and we can rely on its help to further advance our integration processes with European structures and particularly with the EU."

Iacovou referred to the presence of an active economic–social–and political Armenian community in Cyprus.

Oskanian said the Cypriot minister also explained the UN unification plan–which envisaged joining Turkish Cypriots with Greek Cypriots–and the reasons the Greek Cypriot community rejected it in an April 24 referendum.

"We also talked about other regional matters–particularly Armenia’s relations with its neighbors–Turkey in particular," he noted–adding that "as a goal before us–we have the normalization of ties between Armenia and Turkey."

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