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Cyprus president thanks Russia for support of independence

October 01, 2011, 16:16 UTC+3

"We are really grateful to Russian people and wish them all the best,” the Cyprus leader said

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NICOSIA, October 1 (Itar-Tass) — Cyprus President Demetris Christofias expressed gratitude to Russia on Saturday for all-round support to Cyprus people.

Speaking in an interview with Itar-Tass after the military parade on the occasion of the 51st anniversary of independence of the republic, the Cyprus leader said: “Many thanks to Russia for full support of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus. This is a traditional support, and we are really grateful to Russian people and wish them all the best.”

Speaking of the situation, developing now in the East Mediterranean, Christofias underlined that the stand, taken by Turkey concerning prospecting for oil and gas resources by Cyprus within its exclusive economic zone, fans up tension in the region. Nevertheless, the republic, according to the president, continues work on the shelf.

“We are a legitimate government, and we should decide what to do with respect to our natural resources,” he said. “Nothing can make us to give up continuation of work.” The Cyprus leader confirmed at the same time that if they are struck, gas can be used both by Cypriot Greeks and Turks.

Replying to questions by reporters, the president noted that the talks on a Cyprus settlement are at a very responsible stage. The leaders of the two separate communities will have a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki-moon in New York late at this month. The meeting will assess the state of peace talks and will map out further steps in this process.

Regrettably, Christofias went on to say, the Cyprus Turkish side digresses of late from earlier understandings, which creates definite difficulties. Despite this fact, Cyprus Greeks are fully determined to continue achieving a solution of the Cyprus problem in the framework of agreed principles, presupposing formation of a federal state, based on bizonal and double-communal federation.

“We have made great concessions in this to Cyprus Turks, but everything has its limits,” said Christofias.

The military parade held in Nicosia was one of key events in festivities on the occasion of the 51st anniversary of proclaiming the Republic of Cyprus which was a British colony till 1960.

Troops of all arms and services of the republic as well as military hardware, including Russian made materiel, among them armoured infantry carriers, T-80U tanks, multiple-barrel systems Grad and Mi-35 helicopters, passed by the country's president, the primate of the Cyprus orthodox church, the military leaderships of Cyprus and Greece, cabinet members and the Diplomatic Corps.

Festive events are held on Saturday in many cities of the country. Festivities will be rounded off at a reception in the presidential palace in Nicosia where the president invited all who wish.


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