Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair met with President Nicos Anastasiades on Wednesday at the presidential palace in Nicosia.
Blair, in Cyprus on a private visit, told reporters after the meeting that the two had an excellent discussion.
Lasting over an hour, they spoke about the Cyprus problem, challenges in the Middle East region and the ties between Cyprus and the UK.
Blair said they discussed “the strong ties between our two countries and the importance of keeping those ties in a very good condition. The Cypriot community is hugely respected in the UK.”
Responding to a question on the Cyprus problem, Blair outlined that Anastasiades had “explained his position, the big opportunities for Cyprus at the moment, but also the challenges because of the difficult relationships in the region.
“We had the opportunity to discuss about the Middle East and Europe,” he said.
Blair added this was his first time in Cyprus and he loved it.
“I love it, I love the culture, the sunshine and the people are really friendly. My daughter in law is Cypriot.”
Blair’s son Nicholas is married to divorce lawyer Alexandra Bevir, whose mother is Greek Cypriot. Blair’s eldest son Euan is married to a woman whose mother is Turkish.
The former prime minster’s wife, barrister Cherie Blair, also has her own connection with Cyprus. She was famously part of the legal team that represented David and Linda Orams, a British couple who had built a villa on Greek Cypriot property in the north, a case which was ultimately heard at the British High Court.
In September 2006, the High Court of Justice ruled in favour of the Orams, a decision appealed by the landowner Meletis Apostolides.
The Court of Appeal referred the case to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, which eventually ruled in Apostolides’ favour.
The case went back to England where the Court of Appeal also ruled in Apostolides’ favour.
A 2010 attempt by the Orams to appeal the case at the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom failed.