The Cyprus issue and bilateral relations following the Brexit vote were the topics on the agenda of the talks that the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades had with Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street on Tuesday afternoon.
In their first meeting since Theresa May became Prime Minister, President Anastasiades updated her on the latest developments regarding the ongoing negotiations for a settlement to the Cyprus issue.
Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides told reporters following the meeting that the two leaders mainly discussed three aspects of the issue: “Firstly, issues relating to the evolution of the Republic of Cyprus and secondly matters regarding security and guarantees. There was a detailed presentation by the President of the Republic of the offer he has submitted during the negotiations. There was also an extensive discussion of matters relating to territory and property issues and how these two chapters are linked.”
Asked about the British Prime Minister’s response, Christodoulides noted that she was fully informed of the developments and that she also reiterated the UK Government’s position that it does not pursue a guarantor power role in a federal Republic of Cyprus.
“I have to say that PM May is very well informed about developments in the Cyprus issue but also about the current situation at the negotiating table. She has discussed the Cyprus issue with the Turkish President in a recent meeting. She conveyed Britain’s readiness to help either through the framework of the Security Council or otherwise, given the role that the UK traditionally plays with regard to the Cyprus issue. It is important that she repeated the known position of the UK concerning the guarantees, that is that London does not pursue any guarantor power role, but it is ready to play any role that both communities request,” said the Cypriot Government Spokesman.
On Brexit and the new picture that it creates as far as bilateral relations are concerned, Christodoulides said that the two leaders discussed the need to not only safeguard but further enhance them.
“In his framework they also discussed the negotiations between Brussels and London expected to begin once the UK Government decides to activate Article 50, as well as the need to achieve a smooth transition to the new status quo,” Christodoulides added.
The Spokesman referred to a constructive discussion and exchange of views.
The British Prime Minister wished President Anastasiades “happy birthday” on the occasion of his 70th birthday, and she also noted that the bonds between the two countries have developed well and that there is a lot to build on.
Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci are engaged in intensive peace talks to find a negotiated settlement that would reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.