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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Cyprus and Spain step up their co-operation ]

Cyprus and Spain step up their co-operation

SPAIN IS ready to offer Cyprus use of its large network of embassies, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos revealed yesterday after a three-day working visit to Cyprus.

Speaking after his meeting with Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou, Moratinos said the two countries had many common interests on issues like the Mediterranean, Kosovo, the Western Balkans and Cuba.

The Spanish Foreign Minister proposed to make use of the high level of trust and confidence between the two ministries by signing a memorandum of understanding. The memo will reinforce co-operation and dialogue between the two governments through the exchange of diplomats and use of each other’s premises abroad. Kyprianou expressed hope that this memorandum would be signed during his visit to Madrid after the summer.

“We have come to this very clear conclusion of Cyprus and Spain working together. We have the same policies, the same engagement, the same compromise, the same initiative that can reinforce not only the EU itself but also the role of the EU in areas of common interest such as the Mediterranean and the Western Balkans,” said Moratinos.

The Spanish minister noted that the two countries also shared the same position on Cuba, for which the EU has recently agreed to lift sanctions imposed.

Moratinos hailed current efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, saying: “We are very much encouraged by what we’ve heard of the new talks to solve the Cyprus issue.”

“Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat are both doing very encouraging work. I am encouraged and I am very proud that things are moving forward,” he said, adding, “I think in diplomacy and international relations, dialogue is the best instrument to solve problems and I think that is the way to achieve a final settlement of this issue.”

Moratinos has been serving the Spanish government as foreign minister since 2004. Before that he served in Cyprus for over six years as the EU’s special representative for the Middle East.

“I’ve been so much personally involved in this island that I feel like all of you, hoping that finally we can come with very good news,” he said.

Regarding the EU’s Lisbon Treaty that Ireland rejected in a referendum, both Kyprianou and Moratinos underlined that the two countries would move towards its ratification before the next EU summit in October.

Moratinos also referred to the importance of the French President’s initiative for a ‘Union for the Mediterranean’, noting that the leaders of both Cyprus and Spain would be attending the inaugural summit in Paris next month.

“Cyprus and Spain will be very active in order to reinforce the Mediterranean dimension of the EU,” he added.

The two ministers also discussed the Middle East and many other issues of common interest like immigration.

“In the EU, we unify our forces because we have the same sensitivity and the same interest to work together,” said Moratinos.

The Spanish minister said he invited the Cyprus Foreign Minister and President, who he met after Kyprianou, to Spain for an official visit.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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