Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides has said that he will visit Berlin in May in a bid to promote a more active EU role in efforts to reach a settlement of the Cyprus problem.
Speaking during a dinner on Saturday hosted by the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, on the occasion of his visit to London, to attend the coronation of King Charles III, Christodoulides also announced that he will appoint a Commissioner who will deal with the issues of the diaspora.
Referring to efforts for a Cyprus settlement, he noted that “our aim is to link the EU – Turkish relations with the resumption of the negotiations for a solution on the agreed basis and a European oriented content ” he said.
The President recalled that he had a “very constructive and substantive discussion” with French President Emanuel Macron on the issue, noting that he will also travel to Berlin this month.
Noting that he is aware of the difficulties and the problems stemming from the Turkish perspective over a Cyprus settlement and that the passage of time creates more difficulties as regards the prospects for reunification, Christodoulides said, however, that his efforts are focused on the undertaking of a leading role by the EU which “has the toolkit and incentives” to create positive developments through a mutually beneficial situation.
In his address, the President said that breaking the deadlock on the Cyprus problem and the resumption of talks for a settlement constitute a priority for the government adding that the current state of affairs is not an option.
The reunification of Cyprus, he said, should be based on the agreed solution framework, with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single international personality, according to the UN resolutions, the EU principles and values the acquis Communautaire as Cyprus is an EU member-state and will continue to be one after a settlement.
“We are working for a solution which would render Cyprus a normal state, a functional state, with no dependencies, no anachronistic guarantees and, of course, not occupation troops,” the President added.
Stating that for him there is no other way forward than the efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem, Christodoulides noted that “the division of our country as a result of the invasion and occupation by Turkey is a huge anomaly at the heart of Europe and it cannot constitute under no circumstances the future of our country.”
Furthermore, Christodoulides described his election programme as “a social contract” with the Cypriot people, noting that price hikes is a great challenge that needs to be addressed.
While giving special attention to maintaining fiscal discipline the government has proceeded with targeted moves, such as zero VAT rate on basic goods, or the digital platform of consumer information on prices, he added.
Cyprus, an EU member-state since May 2004, has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Numerous UN-led efforts have failed to reunify the island under a federal roof with the latest round of talks in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana ending inconclusively in July 2017