Iran and Cyprus have stressed their resolution to expand bilateral relations in various fields.
In a press conference on Sunday, Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr Ali Ardehir Larijani underlined Cyprus` role as member of the EU in helping to build Iran`s relations with the EU while visiting Speaker of the House of Representatives of Cyprus Demetris Syllouris said countries with influence like Iran could press Turkey to abandon its intransigent stance for a solution to the Cyprus issue.
In his remarks after their meeting, Larijani said the two countries have always had good relations, and Cyprus is the nearest EU member state to Iran. He also said the two had “very good and constructive discussions”.
“Considering the friendly relations and good track record between the two countries there have been very good diplomatic dialogues and I hope bilateral conversations facilitate and simplify the relationships”, said the Iranian speaker.
He added that the principled policy of the Islamic Republic in the Middle East is to protect the territorial integrity of countries and respond to the foreign countries interfering in the fate of the other nations.
Ali Larijani referred to Cyprus as the closest European country to Iran, adding that “we hold Tehran-Nicosia relations at high value and we are glad to see that today we have close and friendly ties with the European country.”
“In the last few months, we have reached a number of agreements that were further discussed during our meeting today,” he added.
I witness a good determination in his excellency and I believe his taking very good efforts in this area”, he said of his Cypriot counterpart.
Larijani said it is very significant to expand bilateral relations with Cyprus in the areas of culture, science, economy, policy and security.
He also said they have a good level of parliamentary bilateral relations and referred to the Iran – Cyprus friendship group that has been established in the Iranian Parliament and his “good friend Masoud Pezeshkian is heading this group and of course his leadership shows and indicates the importance of this kind of relations”.
The two sides exchanged views about the expansion of banking cooperation to facilitate transactions between Iranian and Cypriot tradesmen, Larijani said, and added that Nicosia is resolute on removing all obstacles in this regard.
In his remarks at the press conference, Syllouris described discussions as very practical and fruitful.
He also said the meeting is a “positive turning point in our relations”, noting that “we accelerate the improvement of our relations on any field political, economic, cultural and especially in certain axes like to work together for improving the relations of Iran with European Union and also improving the security and a peace parameters in the area by working together on the economic, political and cultural fields”.
Syllouris said “our historic relations and also today`s needs of the complicated world we live in can direct us for more practical and specific cooperation to play our role in improving the peace and prosperity of our two nations and the nations of the area”.
Speaking at a dinner hosted in his honour, Syllouris said his official visit to Iran “reaffirms the wish and will of both our countries and Parliaments to strengthen relations and cooperation on all levels”.
He also said the re-establishment of Parliamentary Friendship Groups in the two Parliaments “will further contribute in these cooperation efforts and we will be very glad to register further exchanges between our two Parliaments”.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, he said Cyprus “continues its struggle to achieve a just and viable solution to its protracted problem of invasion and occupation by a stronger neighbour. A peaceful settlement remains our first priority, based on pertinent UN resolutions and European law. However, we all know that the key to the solution is still in Ankara’s hands. Now, more than ever, the international community, including friendly countries with influence, like Iran, could press Turkey to abandon its intransigent stance, end its illegal occupation of part of the island and constructively cooperate for the solution of the problem”.
Cyprus, on its part, he said, although much smaller in size, can also help Iran in many areas of its interests and concerns. Not least, in its relations with the European Union.
Syllouris continues Monday his official visit with meetings with President Dr. Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, have been engaged in UN peace talks with the aim to reunite the island, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, under a federal roof.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY