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NICOSIA, June 25 (Itar-Tass) — Cyprus is against any military interference in Syria, Cyprus’ Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Markoullis said in an interview with Itar-Tass.
She is taking part in a meeting of the European Union’s foreign ministers, which opens in Luxembourg on Monday. One of the subjects for discussion will be a conflict around a Turkish plane shot down by Syria.
According to the Cyprus’ foreign minister, her country took a firm position from the very starts and categorically rejects any military interference. It is vital to find a political solution to the Syrian problem, she stressed and added that Cyprus supports the six-provision plan proposed by the Special Envoy of the United National and the League of Arab States Kofi Annan and proved by the United Nations Security Council.
Cyprus, which is taking over the chair in the European Union for the next six months, will try to persuade its partners that “this is the path to follow,” she said. In her words, it is in the interest of both Cyprus and the entire European Union to think how to pool efforts, nor only inside the European Union but also with partners in the United Nations Security Council, including with Russia as a key partner, in order to arrive at common solutions to the crisis.
The issue if very pressing for Cyprus, since it is located some 100 kilometers away from Syria, she noted. If a combat operation or a large-scale civil war erupts in Syria, the conflict would spread to neighboring countries, and first of all, to Lebanon, which, according to Kozakou-Markoullis, is very dear to Cypriots and with it has long-standing relations. In her words, it is necessary to support and protect Lebanon, which boats a very delicate form of government involving all religious and political forces. If the Syrian conflict spreads to Lebanon, it may trigger an explosion that would affect the entire region. “No one is interested in such developments,” she stressed.
According to the Cypriot foreign minister, her country has its say in the European Union’s council of foreign ministers, so Cyprus, as Syria’s closes European neighbor, would spare no effort to bring its concern to other European Union countries. All large-scale wars in the region, she noted, told heavily on Cyprus, which had to accept lots of refugees from Iraq, Lebanon, and other countries.