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Anastasiades backs summit between EU and the Arab world

President Nicos Anastasiades has supported the idea of a summit between the EU and the Arab world, to be held in February in Egypt, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said after Wednesday’s dinner at the informal EU summit in Salzburg.

“The president had the opportunity to propose a forthcoming session between the EU and the Arab world, with particular reference to Egypt,” he said, adding that “there are positive decisions to be made, because we all know how close relations between Cyprus and Egypt are.”

On a separate issue, the president also told his EU counterparts that Cyprus has reached its limit as far as migratory flows into the country are concerned.

The pressures of the migratory flows are huge, Anastasiades said, pointing out that Nicosia is counting on a joint EU response on EU solidarity and a policy to be applied proportionally by all European member states.

In the recent past, many migrants have arrived on Cyprus’ northern shores coming from Turkey. They then cross into the republic.

Prodromou explained that the meeting in Salzburg is an informal Council so “no decisions will be made, but efforts are being made to coordinate the policies and the resources that will be made available.”

Concerning Thursday’s debate on Brexit, the main focus of the EU27 during lunch, the spokesman said that Anastasiades will also have a meeting with the EU’s chief negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier.

“President Anastasiades is discussing this issue, in particular, from the point of view of the close relations that our country has with Britain and which we would not like to abandon,” Prodromou said.

For Cyprus, Brexit negotiations must also focus on Cypriot nationals living in the British sovereign bases.

The morning session on Thursday will deal with internal security, cyber-security issues, as well as EU border surveillance matters.

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