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The reception of the president of the Republic of Cyprus
Ljubljana, 04/26/2007 | press release
The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos, is on an official visit in the Republic of Slovenia, following an invitation of the Slovenian president Dr. Janez Drnovšek.
The Slovenian President received the Cypriot President Papadopoulos at the Brdo estate near Kranj.
Following the conclusion of the official discussions, resident Dr. Janez Drnovšek made the following press statement:
"Esteemed ladies and gentlemen, today's part of the official discussions between myself and Mr. Papadopoulos, the president of the Republic of Cyprus have just been concluded.
Cyprus and Slovenia are intertwined by close and friendly relations that have been further strengthened during the joint EU accession process. We are also endeavoring to continue our cooperation in the best way possible in the future. Even last year, during my visit to Cyprus, we have exchanged our views on different issues, which are of importance to both countries, for Europe as well as for the European Union. Even today, we have dedicated special attention to the question regarding Cyprus, which still remains an unresolved problem for the Republic of Cyprus and the European Union, which desires a prompt solution to this problem. We have also discussed other open issues, for example the situation in SE Europe and the situation regarding the European constitution.
Mr. President and his delegation will also address the questions of economic cooperation between two countries, as we wish to expand them and to take advantage of the possibilities that already exist.
Regarding the Cyprus question, let me say that I fully understand the viewpoint of the Republic of Cyprus and of President Papadopoulos who is trying to establish a just solution following a long occupation of the part of the island. We all want Cyprus to become unified as soon as possible and that a normal situation be established. Yet we must not forget the fact that today's situation, this divide, is a result of a violent act which happened decades ago and therefore we must not accept it as granted or as a condition that only needs to be confirmed by some democratic decision which should be made by Europe or an international community. Therefore, a fair situation must be created and injustice that has been caused must be rectified. Only so may this solution remain firm in the future and acceptable to all Cypriots. Thank you."
The President of the Republic of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos has given the following press statement (unedited text):
"I thank very much President Drnovšek both for his invitation to this beautiful country and a cordial welcome that we have had. As I have said before, during our meeting our two countries are what I like to call like-minded countries. And we are grateful to Slovenia for always following a principal policy towards problems of Cyprus but also that we can be guided and advised by your own experience and your own results.
Slovenia is the first of the applicant countries to assume the presidency in first part of 2008 and the first country to introduce the Euro which we hope to be able to do by the beginning of a next year, so we have a lot to learn from you and I hope the meetings our respect colleagues are going to have a lot of this issues will be further discussed.
Once more I want to congratulate Slovenia for its achievements and thank you for your kind invitation and this visit which we perform and which I hope will start a new era of even closer cooperation in numerous fields of activities as commerce, trade, tourism and culture. Mister President, once more, I thank you very much."
The President of the Republic of Slovenia Dr. Janez Drnovšek answered the following questions from the press (unedited text):
From your experience by being the first country to adopt the Euro and also the fact that you will assume the presidency of EU when we enter the Euro zone. Can you give us you experience so far and advices on how to accept the Euro in Cyprus? Thank you.
Dr. Janez Drnovšek: "Slovenia accepted the Euro quite well and kind of normally. It was not some big shock, it was just money that we changed and more or less it is a technical question. This technical issue can be tackled with necessary attention, also our experience probably will be useful for Cyprus, but it is manageable. As we saw in Slovenian case and the fears that it would bring problems and increase of prices have not been justified. So I wish that the same would happen in Cyprus."
Slovenia will assume the presidency of European Union from next January and will have to deal with many issues which are important and concerns Cyprus for example the refusal of Turkey to recognize Cyprus and open its ports and airports for the Republic of Cyprus its ships and aero planes. How Slovenia will handle matters concerning Cyprus and takes action if necessary?
Dr. Janez Drnovšek: "Slovenia will assume the presidency, this is correct. And we will try to treat these problems in the best possible way. But as I already said, the problem is difficult. The Cyprus issue is not easy and international community has been involved in this for quite sometime. Unfortunately without final success. If the time of the Slovenian presidency is the time of some solution of some at least some progress is difficult to say. If there is an open window of opportunity then we should work on that and try to push things forward. That is why we try to know the problem, to discuss it also now with the president and otherwise and that is why I think that we support principle and just solution for this problem. Thank you."
The President of the Republic of Slovenia Dr. Janez Drnovšek organized a formal reception / lunch in honor of the President of the Republic of Cyprus and proposed the following toast in honor of the President of the Republic of Cyprus (unedited):
"I am thanking you for visiting Slovenia and for giving us the possibility to "reciprocate" your hospitality, when last year we visited Cyprus and I must say that it was memorable visit. We have spent good time together and learned a lot about Cyprus.
Both countries have similar objectives, both countries want peace, want stability, and want stable Europe and constructive members of international community. That's why we have to work together, we have to exchange our views and also join our strength in order to achieve positive results in resolving different problems. Our desire is that we could be constructive also in helping you to resolve the problem of Cyprus which persists too long and we know that you wish deeply to see the solution. But we also understand your demand and your expectation that the solution should be just and should not simply confirm and recognize the facts on the ground that were initially caused by military intervention, which would be a bit precedent for the world if only some time is needed and then aggression is justified and acceptable. It should not be the case.
So we understand you insisting on basic principles of justice and that the facts of aggression should be corrected. I hope that all sides will be constructive in this process and that there will be finally some good agreement which would be in interest of the people of Cyprus but also of the international community.
Mr. President, Slovenia will always be happy to work with you together on this problem and all international problems and to develop further our bilateral relations in all fields, economic, cultural and deepen our relationship, our friendship. Your visit will certainly be another step in deepening of our relations and I wish that it would be very pleasant and that you would return home with such memories as we did when we came back from Cyprus a year ago.
Mr. President, I would like to say a toast to you personally and to your country and to the friendship between the Republic of Cyprus and Slovenia."
The President of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulus proposed the following toast to the Slovenian President Dr. Drnovšek (unedited text):
"Mr. President, honourable guests, I thank you Mr. President deeply for your gracious words of welcome and expression of friendship that, I am honored to say, has been established between us. These words as well as talks that we had previously, reflect on the determination of our two like-minded countries to pursue the common aims which you so eloquently have described - peace, prosperity for all, strong Europe and an active participation of our two countries in the processes which are initiated by the European Union for a better world, now apart.
I think that we have great fields and areas of further cooperation and would very much appreciate having the opportunity of expressing views, discussing views with you, on a great variety of subjects which affect both our countries and perhaps Europe itself.
It is for this reason that Republic of Cyprus has decided to open an embassy in Slovenia, I hope before the end of this year. This embassy will be in place, would give us another avenue of communication and of course I need not say you are more than welcome to come to Cyprus in any capacity you wish and I hope to be able to welcome you there pretty soon.
We are following with great interest and admiration the great progress which Slovenia has made since it has joined the European Union as well as its efforts in ensuring and solidifying its independence free of any foreign military presence in your country. It is our dream, it’s my vision that this peace, this state of demilitarization of Cyprus will also come about in our country.
I know many people use the usual nice diplomatic language to express our situation but I always say when everything is stripped down of that diplomatic double language the problem Cyprus is basically one. It is a problem of invasion and occupation by a mighty foreign country which occupies for so many years now thirty seven percent of the land of Cyprus, having pushed by the force of arms the population residing in the occupied area which consists of one third of the total population of Cyprus.
I will not rest the vote in effort I can and I believe this also is the wish of the whole political spectrum of the island to see the new round of talks that hopefully will soon begin, provide us with a solid crown for finding a just, fair, welcome solution which will be satisfying both communities in Cyprus. Allow me in my turn to raise my glass and drink to your personal health, happiness and to the prosperity and friendship between the people of Slovenia and Cyprus."