GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday praised Cyprus’ adherence so far to an international rescue package, and said Berlin positively views a Cypriot proposal for greater involvement of the EU in a new peace drive on the island.
Merkel and President Nicos Anastasiades met briefly on the sidelines of the European People’s Party meeting in Brussels.
The German leader congratulated Anastasiades on the successful first review of the Cyprus economy by the troika, noting that Nicosia has fully met its commitments, the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reported. Merkel also underlined that her country is willing to provide assistance to Cyprus if needed.
Anastasiades is in the Belgian capital attending a two-day summit of EU leaders. Today Anastasiades holds a series of meetings with EU officials and European leaders. The Cyprus problem and the economy will be the focus of these meetings.
In the morning he sees French President Francois Hollande to discuss among other issues the agenda of the European conference on youth unemployment, to be held on November 12.
This will be followed by a meeting with European Commission head Jose Barroso and the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, with whom he will discuss ways to enhance the EU Presidency’s role in the current drive to kick-start a new round of Cyprus peace talks.
The CNA cited government sources as saying that Nicosia wants the EU to be present during the peace process through a representative who will be able to ensure that a political settlement will comply with the EU acquis.
Early in the afternoon, Anastasiades will have a tete-a-tete with Barroso to discuss mainly economic issues.
They will also prepare a visit by the Council of Ministers to Brussels on November 26 for a joint meeting with the College of EU Commissioners, at Barroso’s invitation.