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Brexit opens new chapter in UK-Cyprus relations, High Commissioner says

File photo of British High Commissioner Stephen Lillie with President Nicos Anastasiades

The UK’s departure from the EU on January 31, opens a new chapter in Britain’s history and UK-Cyprus relations, British High Commissioner Stephen Lillie said on Monday after a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia.

The UK, Lillie added, appreciates the links, relations and common interests with the EU and he assured Anastasiades of London’s  continued commitment to maintain “a strong, broad and deep relationship with Cyprus” on the basis of shared values, shared history, the Commonwealth, as well as the large Cypriot communities in the UK and Britons in Cyprus.

He said the two countries would continue to work closely together in the future, notably on the Cyprus issue, but also on issues of international interest such as climate change.

Lillie also said he had assured the president that the rights of Cypriot citizens in the UK would not be affected and that Cypriots would be able to continue to travel to the UK without a visa.

Speaking on behalf of Anastasiades following the meeting, Government Spokesman Kyriakos Kousios told reporters that the meeting took place at the request of the High Commissioner, “due to the UK’s departure from the EU”.

“They discussed issues concerning the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and those related to Cyprus,” he said.

“There have been assurances on both sides that the daily lives of Cypriots in Britain, especially our students, will not be affected,” he added.

“From the point of view of the Republic of Cyprus, the President of the Republic stressed that the daily life and stay of English nationals in Cyprus would not be affected in any way.”

Issues relating to trade and bilateral relations with the UK were also discussed, and the willingness and intention of both parties to continue relations and further cooperation were stressed.

Asked if British nationals would be able to buy property in Cyprus, Kousios said: “There are specific issues that have not yet been decided in terms of how they will be handled, but, yes, the general line is that the rights of Britons will not be affected when it comes to staying in Cyprus or buying assets.”

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