Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has reiterated his strong will and determination for a positive conclusion of the upcoming tripartite meeting with the UN Secretary General and the Turkish Cypriot leader which will take place in Berlin on November 25.
Addressing the EPP Statutory Congress 2019 in Zagreb, Croatia, the President pointed out that our aim remains none other than to reach a settlement that will reunite Cyprus; without any guarantees, foreign troops and external dependencies.
“In this respect, I take the opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to our EPP family for their consistent support towards our efforts to reach a comprehensive and viable settlement on the Cyprus problem. A support which becomes even more important amidst a period of continued tensions and violations by Turkey in Cyprus’ maritime zones”, he undrelined.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans Montana ended inconclusively.
Turkey announced its intention to start drilling off Cyprus and send on 4 May 2019 the Turkish drill ship “Fatih”, which remains anchored 36 nautical miles west of Akamas peninsula, in an area that falls within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus. A second Turkish drill ship, “Yavuz”, arrived off the island’s north-eastern coast on 8 July 2019.
The President said that the EPP Congress is certainly timely, as it comes at a critical moment of great challenges for Europe, challenges which are recorded by the EPP conclusions which we are to adopt.
He added that these conclusions which constitute a strong manifesto which if we are to implement with determination and consistency we will provide a true hope to the European citizens and more importantly to the young generations for the years to come.
“In this regard, within the limits of a short intervention, without ignoring the importance of other significant issues on our agenda, I will concentrate on few issues that need our urgent response as regards the prosperity of Europe and the entire humanity, as well as the cohesion of the EU”, he added.
In his address the President referred to the climate change as the dominant issue of our time and quoted the late Jacques Chirac: “The earth and humanity are in peril, and we are all responsible. It is time now to open our eyes”.
President Anastasiades pointed out that action is needed urgently at national, regional and international level to deal collectively and with consistency, to tackle both the roots and the adverse consequences of Climate Change, the effects of which are already evident in our planet.
“Another issue that figures prominently on our common agenda is the need to address Migration, in a comprehensive manner by delivering on all fronts and not opting for a piecemeal approach. An effective and fair asylum system constitutes part and parcel of the holistic approach on Migration. All migratory routes deserve the same attention and vigilance. Cyprus continues to face disproportionate migratory pressures, remaining the first country concerning first time asylum applications in relation to its population”, he pointed out.
He also referred to the new MFFwhich also figures high on the European Agenda, saying that we need a sound EU budget, fit for a Union of 27.
“We acknowledge all efforts to modernise the budget and support actions undertaken. However, this cannot be done at the expense of the two main investment and well established policies, namely the Cohesion Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy”, he added.
The President also said that today the unity of the EU is more important than ever, adding that the principles on which the Union was founded – peace, security, stability, prosperity and democracy – must not only be protected but reinforced.
“As President-elect Ursula von der Leyen stated: If we are united on the inside, nobody will divide us from the outside”, Cyprus President said, adding that this unity must be demonstrated concerning all challenges that might compromise the principles, rules and laws of the Union and solidarity should be seen not as a burden, but as a vehicle which enhances and strengthens the Union as a whole.
The President also warmly congratulated President Joseph Daul for his successful tenure, saying that he was tasked with leading the EPP during one of the most historical difficult times for Europe.
“He led our party with loyalty, openness and integrity, acting as a dedicated European and a true believer of solidarity, always serving the best interests of the EPP and the Union, but above all, the European citizens”, he added.
He also congratulated the new President Donald Tusk saying that he the privilege to work closely with him at the European Council.
“His strong commitment to principles and unity has always been the driving force in consolidating the European Council’s strategic role, while keeping Member States together as one. I have no doubt that under his skillful leadership, as well of the new leadership of the EPP which I warmly congratulate for their election, our political family will continue striving for a stronger, more democratic and closer to its citizens Europe”, he concluded.