Today we have had the opportunity to meet with delegations from the Workers’ Party of Belgium PTB/PVDA and Sinn Fein party from Ireland, headed by the Vice-Presidents of their parties. I also had the opportunity to attend and speak in the meeting of the Left Group on developments surrounding the Cyprus problem, while we have met so far with European Commissioners Christos Stylianides and Federica Mogherini.

In the afternoon we shall meet with a delegation of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) and the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU. I will also have the opportunity to take part in two events. One on the Cyprus problem, co-organized by AKEL and the Left Group GUE/NGL. The second, on Ireland and Brexit, which is co-organized by Sinn Fein and the Left Group, where I will also be a keynote speaker.

In all the meetings we had, we had the opportunity to voice our strong concerns about the escalating Turkish aggression and provocative actions, both in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus and in Famagusta. We have denounced these actions and stated that the surest way to deal with this whole situation as it is evolving with the extremely negative and worrying climate is through the resumption of negotiations, which we believe will also lead to an end to Turkey’s provocative actions and give the possibility to discuss the solution of the Cyprus problem in a serious manner.

As AKEL, we support this ongoing effort on the part of the UN Secretary-General. We call on Turkey, but also both leaders, to assume their responsibility to the wider region, but above all towards the Cypriot people and our country, and to cooperate with the UN Secretary-General so that we can reach an agreement on the terms of reference so that the negotiations can resume. If and provided of course that the negotiations resume, hard work will be demanded to be able to reach an agreement; an agreement that must be based on the agreed principles for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

We want to make it clear that the message we are conveying is that, as AKEL, we will not under any circumstances accept a change in the discussion basis of the Cyprus debate. All through this procedure we will seek to play our positive role and wish the negotiations resume and everyone will conclude that AKEL, as truly a patriotic party, is not only going to back the effort, but it will try by submitting ideas and opinions to contribute so that there will be a successful outcome.

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