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Foreign minister in Vilnius to strengthen ties

lithuania
Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides with Gabrielius Landsbergis in Vilnius

Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides has expressed his conviction that the country’s European partners will deliver a “clear and unambiguous” message to Turkey at the upcoming European Council summit in June, during which the prospect of a positive agenda in the EU’s relations with Turkey will be discussed.

Christodoulides, who was speaking to the press following deliberations he had with his Lithuanian counterpart Gabrielius Landsbergis in Vilnius, on Thursday, said discussions were “very open and productive.”

“My visit to Vilnius comes a week after the informal meeting on Cyprus held in Geneva under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General. I briefed the minister on the discussions and the outcome of the meeting,” he said. “We are deeply disappointed that we did not have the desired outcome.”

He said that “unfortunately” the positions put forward by the Turkish side run contrary to all relevant UN Security Council resolutions and to the common EU position as clearly set out on a number of occasions in relevant decisions and conclusions.

“These positions are outside the agreed framework as they aim openly at partition and not reunification of Cyprus, at the partition of an EU member state,” he added.

“We are certain that in line with the EU’s common positions, our EU partners, will deliver a clear and unambiguous message to Turkey, including at the upcoming European Council in June, during which the prospect of a positive agenda in the EU’s relations with Turkey will be discussed,” Christodoulides said.

Referring to the bilateral relations between the two countries the minister said they had the opportunity to extensively review the state of play across bilateral relations and he was pleased to note that there was a joint conviction on the importance of injecting new momentum into cooperation.

They agreed to take concrete steps in creating additional opportunities benefiting the people of the two countries in the area of trade, economy, education and tourism.”

They also exchanged views on current issues on the common European agenda, including relations between the EU as well as regional and international developments.”

“I believe that both Cyprus and Lithuania have a clear, common understanding of what it means to be in a challenging neighbourhood, as well the importance of the EU playing an active role in ensuring that Europe’s immediate neighbourhood – from South to East – is predictable, secure and prosperous,” he concluded.

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