By Stefanos Evripidou
PRESIDENT Nicos Anastasiades yesterday met for 30 minutes with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a “most warm and productive atmosphere” on the sidelines of the European People’s Party (EPP) heads of state and government congress in Dublin.
Speaking to reporters afterwards, the president said he discussed the latest developments on the Cyprus problem, Cyprus’ economic problems, and the ways in which unemployment and the problems of small-and-medium-sized enterprises were being addressed.
The essential content of his conversation with the chancellor will be transformed into concrete results during his visit to Berlin on May 6, he added.
Anastasiades also expressed his satisfaction with the fact that in the EPP’s manifesto adopted yesterday ahead of this May’s European Parliament elections- apart from Ukraine- Cyprus was the only other country specifically mentioned, with reference to the basic principles that must prescribe a solution of the Cyprus conflict.
“It is not the first time that the EPP is being supportive, but the continuation of this support, especially at this critical time, adds significantly to all the efforts that we are making in order to achieve a solution at the earliest,” he said.
According to a DISY statement, the EPP manifesto acknowledges Cyprus as a “European pillar of stability in the region” and calls for a Cyprus solution, based on UN and EU principles.
It also calls on Turkey to withdraw its troops from the island, implement the Ankara Protocol, hand over Famagusta to its lawful inhabitants, and respect the sovereign rights of EU member states over their natural resources.
In light of the important oil and gas discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus also plays a central role in bolstering EU`s energy security, says the manifesto.
Anastasiades left Dublin last night and returns to Cyprus early this morning.