The Council of Europe (CoE) is entering a period of strong challenges which have to be addressed in a neutral and effective way, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said as the island on Tuesday took over as group chairman.
Speaking in Strasbourg, Kasoulides said the Cypriot chairmanship was warmly welcomed by the CoE member states, including Turkey.
“The assumption of the chair is of great importance, the CoE is entering a period of strong challenges which have to be addressed in a neutral, professional and effective manner,” he stressed.
Among the issues to be addressed, he said, are immigration, terrorism, refugees, populism, problems in Turkey, Ukraine and Georgia.
The Cyprus Chairmanship, he pointed out, will work hard to prove that a small country can deal with big problems as well.
Later on Tuesday the Cyprus flag was to be raised outside the Strasbourg City Hall. Kasoulides was also to open a Strasbourg tram line which will carry the Cyprus Chairmanship’s emblems.
Education minister Costas Kadis was also in Strasbourg where he opened an exhibition by Cyprus students called Crisis into Art to mark the island’s assumption of the chair.
The exhibition includes selected works of art that received awards in the framework of this year’s 5th Pancyprian Secondary Education Visual & Plastic Arts Competition which is the biggest art initiative in Cypriot schools.