Nicosia on Tuesday welcomed EU High Representative Josep Borrell’s comments which emphasise that “the Cyprus problem is clearly an EU problem”.

Government Spokesman Kyriacos Koushos referenced Borrell’s comments made in a blogpost on Monday and said that: “We welcome the request of the European Commission to upgrade the role of the EU, from an observer to fully participate in negotiations as soon as possible.”

In saying that the Cyprus problem is clearly an EU problem, Borrel also reiterated that Turkish Cypriots are EU citizens.

In Borrell’s blog, largely a reflection on his visit to Cyprus last week, he also said that the responsibility for finding a solution lies first and foremost with the Cypriots themselves.

But in singling out local actors, he also addressed the international scene.

He made special mention of Unficyp, noting that: “Unficyp is one of the oldest of all UN peacekeeping missions: it operates on the island since 1964.

“57 years later, the Cyprus problem remains one of the most difficult and longstanding conflicts in Europe.”

On a personal note, he recalled having visited Cyprus in 2007 as President of the European Parliament and is deeply saddened that 14 years later the situation has not changed.