President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has expressed the determination of the Greek Cypriot side for the successful conclusion of the forthcoming informal conference on Cyprus, as well as the hope that Turkey will demonstrate the same willingness.
The President, who was addressing the extraordinary teleconference of the European Council that took place 25 and 26 of February, highlighted the particularly important role that the European Union has to play, taking into account that the reunited Cyprus will continue to be an EU member state after the solution of the Cyprus issue.
According to a press release by the Presidency, the heads of state and government of the EU discussed on Friday about issues relating to defence and security, as well as Southern Neighbourhood.
In his intervention, the President shared the need to strengthen the European Union`s strategic autonomy to effectively address existing and future challenges, including cyber-attacks and hybrid threats. He also underlined the strategic importance of relations with the countries of the Southern Neighborhood, and welcomed the new “Agenda for the Mediterranean” which aims to renew the EU`s relations with the area.
Furthermore, he made special reference to the role of Cyprus and Greece as pillars of stability in the region, through the development of their tripartite cooperation mechanisms.
He stressed the Greek Cypriot side`s determination for a successful conclusion of the forthcoming informal conference on Cyprus, under the auspices of the UN, and expressed the hope that Turkey will show the same willingness. In this context, he highlighted the particularly significant role the European Union has to play, taking into account that a reunited Cyprus will continue to be an EU member state after the solution of the Cyprus problem, the press release says.
Moreover, President Anastasiades congratulated the European Commission, and in particular its President and Commissioner for Health, on their efforts to address the pandemic and expressed his support for the actions taken to establish the new European emergency response authority.
He also stressed the importance of adopting a common “vaccination certificate” to facilitate the movement of citizens and pointed out that the pandemic has had a negative impact on tourism, which is a key pillar of the Cypriot economy.
Meanwhile, during the first day of the teleconference, the EU leaders discussed about the efforts to address the pandemic as well as the current epidemiological situation in the member states and the European Union`s vaccine strategy.
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. The UN Secretary-General intends to convene an informal five-plus-one meeting on the Cyprus issue in Geneva, Switzerland, from 27 to 29 April 2021, the UN announced.