France pledged on Tuesday to further increase security and defence ties with Cyprus and called for the resumption of negotiations based on UN parameters.
The comments were made by new French ambassador Salina Grenet-Catalano who presented her credentials to President Nicos Anastasiades at the presidential palace in Nicosia.
The new Czech ambassador Vladimír Němec also presented credentials on Tuesday.
Catalano said that as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, an EU Member State, and a friendly country of Cyprus and all Cypriots, regardless of the community to which they belong, France was calling for the resumption of negotiations as soon as possible, under UN parameters.
She welcomed the prospect of the proposed Cyprus conference in the coming weeks “hoping that this will be the starting point for a new process”.
The new ambassador said France was deeply committed to the respect of international maritime law, particularly in the Eastern Mediterranean, “which should not be an area of competition but of cooperation”.
She said President Emmanuel Macron had reiterated this on numerous occasions in recent months and expressed France’s constant support and concrete solidarity with Cyprus on this issue, referring to Turkey’s illegal drilling activities in Cyprus’ EEZ.
The new Czech ambassador in his comments said relations between the two countries were based on the sharing of common values, strengthened by joint membership in the EU and a number of international organisations, including human rights ones.
“These values and respect for them must be the firm and unequivocal basis for a just solution to the Cyprus issue,” Němec said. “My country deems it important, that a comprehensive, lasting and just solution can be achieved in line with the relevant Security Council resolutions, in the conformity with the said values and international law”.
Anastasiades in separate addresses to both new ambassadors spoke of strong ties with the two countries.
As regards the Cyprus problem, he reiterated his readiness to participate at the upcoming 5+1 informal meeting. “Seizing this opportunity, I want to make our position clear: the form of the envisioned settlement is none other than to establish a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, in line with the relevant UN Security Council Resolution and the values and principles upon the European Union is founded,” he said