Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides said he was satisfied from his meetings on Wednesday with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, in Brussels.
In statements to the press, after his meetings, President Christodoulides referred to the discussions he had with the top EU officials as well as to the opportunity he will have during his intervention at the European Council to outline his proposal with regard to a more active engagement of the EU in the efforts to reunify Cyprus.
He also referred to the Government’s goal that the Republic of Cyprus is present at discussions at European level about all issues, among others, managing migration.
Expressing his satisfaction over the meetings he had with the three top EU officials, President Christodoulides said that he could see “a strong desire for the resumption of talks with a view to a Cyprus settlement, taking advantage of important junctures which exist at this particular moment.”
“We agreed to work jointly towards this direction,” he noted, adding that “the goal for the resumption of talks on the basis of an agreed framework is common” and that he would be in constant communication with the three Presidents.
President Christodoulides added that it would also be important to ensure the support from other EU member states.
In this context, he noted, tomorrow is important as he will first brief the European People’s Party (EPP) summit about his proposal. “I will clearly seek their support, and particularly of those who take part in the European Council, but also in bilateral meetings in the framework of the European Council with leaders who do not belong to the EPP,” he said, adding that as has been agreed with Michel, he will be given the opportunity during the European Council to outline his proposal.
President Christodoulides said that the way his proposal has been received so far by the President of the three European bodies leads to a certain optimism, adding that the effort will continue “until the aim is achieved.”
Asked what should be expected from the European Council, he explained that there will be no reference in the conclusions as the process of drafting them has been ongoing for some time and the agenda is specific.
“I will make my briefing under the section to do with other matters, this is what I asked the European Council President, but what we would want to achieve is to take advantage of the timeframe until the Turkish elections so that this proposal can mature politically and be able to be implemented immediately after the elections in Turkey, if everything goes according to plan,” he noted.
President Christodoulides said that he wishes to point out that this enhanced role on the part of the EU is something “which absolutely does not replace the UN role.”
“Above anyone else, we wish everything to be within the UN framework, since we are well aware what the Turkish side’s approach is, but the EU has all those incentives for everyone involved in the Cyprus problem to create a situation which would lead to a mutually beneficial situation for all,” he stressed.
Asked to comment on what was discussed with the three Presidents about migration, President Christodoulides said that he conveyed the message that “the Republic of Cyprus will be present with important interventions on all the matters which have to do with the EU agenda.”
“Under no circumstance will we be a monothematic member state,” he said, adding that “we will have a say and a role to play in everything that is being discussed. And one of these issues is migration.”
“We are expecting the development and presentation of a specific plan from the European Commission in relation to the Eastern Mediterranean,” he said.
The President added that there are also other matters which affect the Republic of Cyprus, which, as a responsible member state, must have “specific positions, whether this has to do with Ukraine and the illegal invasion in the country, where our position is clear against such type of behaviour, or matters to do with competitiveness or energy.”
We are an EU member state, he noted, and we are affected by EU decisions and the goal is for us to actively participate in the decision making process, he concluded.