China and Denmark welcome restart of Cyprus talks
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
ANKARA - The International community including the U.S, European Union and China and Denmark are highly supportive of Tuesday's re-launch of the reunification talks between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders.
China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the relaunching of peace talks, held on Tuesday was "positive progress."
China appreciates the efforts from the United Nations (UN) and the international community, and supports a fair and reasonable settlement of the tensions based on UN resolutions, Hua explained at a press briefing.
She called on the two sides to grasp opportunities, narrow down differences through negotiation and seek resolutions acceptable to both sides.
"As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China will continue to play a positive role on the issue," Hua vowed.
Additionally, Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard said in a written statement that the restart of talks between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots to reunite the divided island is a welcome development for the EU.
“It is the beginning of a path that should reunite Cyprus within the EU. It will not be easy. Tough and complicated negotiations lie ahead,” said Lidegaard in a written statement on Tuesday.
The meeting on Tuesday with Turkish Cypriot President Dervis Eroglu and Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiadis in a UN-controlled buffer zone on the island is the first one after a nearly two-year-long pause since the last round of talks in 2012. The talks stumbled due to the Eurozone debt crisis and the Greek Cypriot side assuming the role of the EU rotating presidency in 2012.
The leaders issued a joint declaration that outlines how the talks should move forward. It recommends recognizing the equal status of the two states, while aiming to bring the divided communities closer under a federated government.
Lidegaard stressed that almost 50 years have passed since the establishment of the UN peacekeeping mission in 1964 and emphasized that Denmark “was among the first handful of countries that deployed peacekeepers to the island and more than 22,000 Danish soldiers served in Cyprus over the years.”
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