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Russia ready to help settle Cyprus problem — lawmaker

December 05, 2016, 17:45 UTC+3 NICOSIA

Cyprus has been divided into two parts since 1974

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NICOSIA, December 5. /TASS/. Russia is ready to provide assistance in settling the Cypriot problem, Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the international committee of Russia’s Federation Council upper parliament house and deputy chairman of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, told TASS on Monday after a meeting with speaker of Cyprus’ parliament Dimitris Syllouris.

The Russian lawmaker is on a working trip in Nicosia as part of preparations for a spring session of the Inter-parliamentary Union to be held in Bangladesh in March 2017. He had talks with the Cypriot parliament speaker and chairman of the parliament’s international committee Girgos Lillikas to discuss issues of bilateral cooperation, including inter-parliamentary contacts between Russia and the Republic of Cyprus. The focus, according to Kosached, was made on a draft resolution to be signed by the sides.

"We have confirmed our readiness and our desire to promote settlement of the Cypriot problem on conditions that the settlement id based on the existing resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. We are ready to support the concept of a two-zone and two-ethnic federation but we are not seeking to impose our visions of how this problem is to be resolved. As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, Russia will offer support to the agreements that might be arrived at during another meeting of the leaders of the island’s two communities due on January 9 through 11 next year," Kosachev said.

He also said that during his visit he expressed Russia’s readiness as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council to take part in an international conference on the Cypriot settlement due on January 12.

"We tried to use our visit to Cyprus to give a fresh impetus to inter-parliamentary ties between Russia and Cyprus, taking into account the fact that our countries’ positions on many issues of the present-day agenda are either close or identical," the Russian lawmaker noted.

Apart from that, the sides agreed to organize a joint meeting of parliamentary committees on international affairs to discuss the current state and prospects for further development of bilateral relations, first of all in the trade-and-economic sector, as well as issues of Russia-European Union relations and the situation around the Cyprus settlement.

Cyprus has been divided into two parts since 1974 after Turkey invasion of the northern part of the island that followed a state coup staged by supporters of Cyprus’ unification with Greece. As a result of combat operations, Turkey won control of about 37% of the island’s territory where the Turkish Cypriot community unilaterally declared independence and formed the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 1983. Turkey is the guarantor for Northern Cyprus while the island’s southern part constitutes the Republic of Cyprus populated primarily by Greek Cypriots. The two communities have been holding U.N.-brokered negotiations for decades.

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