NICOSIA - Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka Gamini Lakshman Peiris has expressed his country’s support to a settlement of the Cyprus problem, noting that excellent relations between Cyprus and Sri Lanka can be further strengthened, especially in the economic and commercial fields.
Speaking during a meeting with House President Yiannakis Omirou, Peiris, who is paying a two-day visit to Cyprus, thanked the Republic of Cyprus and its people for their friendly attitude towards his compatriots who live and work in Cyprus.
He thanked the Republic of Cyprus for its support at the UN and the Commonwealth, and as an EU member state.
On his part Omirou praised the high level of relations between Cyprus and Sri Lanka and the two countries’ parliaments.
He briefed Peiris on the current phase of the Cyprus problem and expressed disappointment over the deadlock in the direct talks due to the intransigent stance of the Turkish side and its insistence on a settlement providing for a confederation and two states.
Furthermore he underlined that the Republic of Cyprus remains focused on reaching a settlement according to the international law, the UN relevant resolutions and the EU principles and values.
He thanked Peiris for the steadfast and principled support of Sri Lanka to the Cyprus case.
Omirou informed him that the Republic of Cyprus, as an EU member, can facilitate Sri Lanka’s cooperation with the EU.
Peiris had a meeting with the Chairman of the Cyprus - Sri Lanka Friendship Group in the House of Representatives Averof Neophytou and members of the group Adamos Adamou and Sophoclis Fyttis.
Speaking during the meeting, Neophytou referred to the excellent cooperation between the respective parliamentary Friendship Groups. He underlined that these relations can and must be further enhanced through more exchange of visits.
Adamou and Fyttis congratulated the Sri Lanka Minister on the financial and social development in his country and expressed the will of the parliament to further deepen its relations with the parliament of Sri Lanka.
On his part, Peiris thanked the Friendship Group for its excellent work in cooperation with the respective group at the parliament of his country and wished this to be enhanced.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Previous UN led efforts to reunite the country have failed. A fresh round of talks is expected to resume in the autumn.