Press Releases

21. 4. 2008 13:41

Response to media coverage of Premier Topolánek´s visit to Cyprus written by Jan Bondy, Czech Ambassador on Cyprus

For Týden magazine
Response to media coverage of Premier Topolánek´s visit to Cyprus

Dear Editor,

I am quite fond of following your magazine, all the more so that I am now living outside the country, hence away from its immediate developments, and I like to read well-researched comments by journalists.

However, I was quite surprised to find that virtually the only response by the Czech media to the visit to Cyprus by a delegation led by Czech Premier Topolánek and an accompanying group of ten businessmen was a banal episode unrelated to the working programme of his visit to which the Premier had been invited by the Cypriot side. That is why I would like to mention, at least in this way, the meaning and primarily the outcome of this trip of which I am proud as the Czech Ambassador to Cyprus.

First and foremost, Czech Premier Topolánek did not meet President Christofias of the Republic of Cyprus for talks only once but on three different occasions during his short visit. In addition to introducing the Czech presidency of the European Union due to start next year, the Premier also displayed considerable knowledge of the complex “Cyprus problem“ and offered the Republic of Cyprus our support and assistance during his talks.

The issues of solving the situation in Cyprus where 40,000 Turkish troops are still staying in the northern part of the island, where population and property had been forcibly moved on both sides under dramatic circumstances, problems that have not yet been resolved, are the subject of negotiations both at the United Nations and European Union.

Among other things, the Czech Premier recalled former Czechoslovakia’s assistance granted immediately after the war in 1974 when we offered the Cypriots affected by the loss of their relatives and their homes scholarships and jobs in our country. He also mentioned the fact that it was our country that was the first to hold a conference bringing together political parties of the warring sides. Held in Prague in 1989, the conference signified a major breakthrough for the Cypriot representatives in the previous climate of non-communication. Since then, for nearly twenty years, political parties from the north and south of the island have been meeting regularly and without a break to discuss topical issues. Since 1993, such gatherings have been chaired by the Slovak Republic, notably its diplomatic corps in Cyprus.

That the Premier offered the platform of the Czech EU presidency for deliberations for the still divided island as well as the fact during all his talks (i.e. in addition to negotiations with President of the Republic of Cyprus also with the Chairman of the Parliament of the Republic of Cyprus, the Cypriot Foreign Minister as well as the Mayor of Nicosia!) he displayed his command of all the problems and his personal involvement impressed not only the local politicians but the media as well.

The (accompanying) officials of the Czech companies were busy too, presenting to the local businessmen - members of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce, specific opportunities for cooperation (e.g. in recycling, water treatment etc.).

I am truly sorry that our Czech media have not indicated, however slightly, that the Czech Republic and its Premier deserve at least some recognition for this visit.

Please find attached here an article from the current issue of the magazine Cyprus Weekly which gives quite a matter-of-fact report on the Premier´s visit.

Thank you for your attention. I am looking forward to Your response.

Jan Bondy – Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Cyprus

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