Cyprus President, Nikos Christodoulides, on Tuesday discussed issues related to the agenda of the upcoming European Council (EUCO), in a teleconference held by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, with a group of heads of state and government of EU member states, Government Spokesperson, Konstantinos Letymbiotis, said in a written statement. It was agreed that President Christodoulides will brief the European Council of his proposal for more active involvement of the EU in the effort to end the deadlock and for the immediate resumption of negotiations to resolve the Cyprus issue, he added, among other things.
The teleconference, which is the first in which President Christodoulides participates after assuming his duties as President of the Republic, is part of the preparation for the upcoming European Council, to be held on March 23 and 24, in Brussels, Letymbiotis noted.
He added that, during the teleconference, in which the President of Bulgaria and the Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, Finland, Luxembourg and Estonia also participated, issues related to the agenda of the upcoming European Council were discussed, such as, among others, the Ukrainian issue, Energy, Immigration, Economy, and the lunch of the members of the European Council with UN Secretary General.
During the teleconference, he said, President Christodoulides noted his commitment to the principles and values of the EU, adding that he looks forward to his meeting with President Michel and the Presidents of the other European institutions.
Referring to the meeting with the UN Secretary-General, the President of the Republic underlined that he and the Cypriot Government were strong supporters of EU-UN cooperation, including cooperation on the Cyprus problem, he noted.
According to Letymbiotis, “it was agreed that the President of the Republic will inform the European Council of his proposal for a more active involvement of the European Union in the effort to end the deadlock and for the immediate resumption of negotiations to resolve the Cyprus issue within the agreed framework and in accordance with the UN resolutions.”
“He also added that the lunch with the UN Secretary-General will be a good opportunity to reaffirm our support for international legitimacy, especially in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” the Spokesperson said.
The President of the Republic reiterated Cyprus’ unwavering support to Ukraine for as long as necessary, stressing that Cyprus as a country experiencing invasion and ongoing occupation itself strongly supports the necessity of respecting international law, he added. On this matter, noted the Spokesperson, the President of the Republic “requested a strict reference in the Council Conclusions on sanctions, especially their circumvention by third countries, as well as taking measures to deal with this phenomenon.”
Regarding Competitiveness, Single Market and the Economy, the President of the Republic stated that all agree on debt reduction in the medium term through an approach that will take into account the particularities of each Member State and effective transparency and cooperation between Member States, added the Spokesperson.
On the issue of Energy, according to Letymbiotis, the President of the Republic “welcomed” the Commission's proposal for the reform of the electricity market. “He also emphasised the need, especially for a country like ours, located on the periphery of Europe, for expediting and completing energy interconnection,” he said.
Regarding Immigration, he noted, the President of the Republic pointed out the enormous problem facing the Republic of Cyprus, with 6% of its population consisting of asylum seekers, while he also highlighted the flows of irregular immigrants who reach the government-controlled areas through the occupied areas.
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.