Cyprus’ presidency of the Council of the EU in 2026 must be significantly more successful than the first presidency held by the Republic in 2012, said on Saturday the President of the Republic, Nikos Christodoulides, while addressing an event in Nicosia by the co-ruling Democratic Alignment (DEPA) party, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the country’s accession to the EU.

“Our accession to the European Union is the most important political and diplomatic success of our country since the founding of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960”, the President said.

Referring to the role that the Union can play in the efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem, he said that “we have invested in Europe’s substantial engagement and support for the new effort that we have gradually managed to launch through the appointment of the Personal Envoy of the Secretary General.” In this context, he added, very recently, at the European Council in April, “we have managed, through the relevant Conclusions, to establish a clear link between progress on Euro-Turkish issues and developments on Cyprus within the agreed framework.”

“I am absolutely convinced that the acquis can serve not only as a basis for a Cyprus settlement, but also as the most important safeguard for the implementation of an eventual Cyprus settlement, where all legitimate inhabitants, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins can fully enjoy their human rights as European citizens in a reunited homeland”, he said.

The President said he was content with the arrival of the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in Cyprus on May 1, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Cyprus’ accession to the EU, following his invitation. “I consider her positive response as a sign and recognition of the role that the Republic of Cyprus plays within the EU”, he said.

Referring to the upcoming EU Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus in the first half of 2026, he said that “it takes the form of a national mission with a pan-European dimension”, as it is a major milestone for the Republic of Cyprus, to which “our government and I personally attach great importance.” For this reason, he said, the Deputy Ministry for European Affairs was set up in time and a competent Deputy Minister was appointed. “This Presidency should be clearly more successful than the first Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus in 2012,” he noted.

Cyprus has been a member of EU since May 1st 2004 and will assume the six monthly rotating EU presidency in January 2026 for the second time in its history. The country 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. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appointed María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar of Colombia as his personal envoy for Cyprus, to assume a Good Offices role on his behalf and search for common ground on the way forward in the Cyprus issue.

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