According to CNA sources, and even though the final program of his meetings has not been confirmed yet because Hammond is participating in talks on Iran`s nuclear program in Switzerland, the British Foreign Secretary is expected to meet on Tuesday at noon with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and later on in the afternoon he will be received by the President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades.
The visit is part of a tour British officials are making in EU member countries in an effort to promote the vision of British Prime Minister, David Cameron, on EU reforms.
According to diplomatic sources, the presence of Philip Hammond in Cyprus is an opportunity to discuss the developments in the Cyprus problem and the way that the Greek Cypriot side understands the next steps. Bilateral relations, developments in the Eastern Mediterranean region and the fight against terrorism will also be on the agenda of talks Hammond will have in Nicosia, they added.
On a meeting the Foreign Secretary is expected to have with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, in Cyprus` northern Turkish occupied areas, reliable sources have told CNA that the government has conveyed its concerns regarding this meeting, pointing out the need to respect and take into consideration the sensitive aspects of the Cyprus problem.
A diplomatic source has told CNA that it would be “laughable and non sensical” to suggest that there is any connection to a possible Hammond – Eroglu meeting with the pre-election campaign in Britain or April`s polling in the occupied areas of Cyprus.
The same source has said that while the Bristish FS is in Cyprus, he is expected to meet with the leaders of the two communities and discuss with them developments in Cyprus problem, without implying any initiative or any other action. However, it was noted that nothing has been confirmed yet.
The British Foreign Secretary will arrive at Larnaka international airport on Tuesday and leave from Larnaka the same day.