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Cyprus

Anastasiades to address dinner for EU-NATO leaders (updated)

cop26 in glasgow
President Nicos Anastasiades

A Cyprus settlement would have beneficial results as regards stability and security in the broader region, President Nicos Anastasiades will tell EU and NATO leaders in Madrid on Wednesday evening.

The President will underline during the EU-NATO leaders dinner the need for respect of international law and for a peaceful resolution of conflicts worldwide, government spokesman Marios Pelekanos said from Madrid.

He will also reiterate that the Cyprus problem continues to be an open wound in Europe and that its viable and functional settlement, on the basis of the international and the European law, will have beneficial results not only for Cyprus and the Cypriots, but also for the stability and the security of the broader region.

Pelekanos said that Anastasiades had accepted an invitation by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to attend the Euro-Atlantic working dinner hosted for EU and NATO leaders in the framework of the NATO Summit taking place in Madrid.

He added that during the dinner, Anastasiades will have the opportunity, as the rest participating leaders, to express the positions of Cyprus regarding the need for cooperation between the EU and NATO, on the basis, among others, of the respect of their decision-making autonomy and the two organisations’ procedures, in light of the tectonic changes and the new challenges due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

These new challenges do not only concern aspects of traditional security, but also extend into the fields of hybrid threats and cyber attacks, energy security, the world food crisis and the migration issue, Pelekanos added.

He said that in this framework the president will reiterate Cyprus’ position that, given its increasing geopolitical value, the EU can play an active role in efforts to combat security threats in the area and to look for solutions to address crises, focusing on diplomacy and the UN Charter.

The increase of the EU’s strategic autonomy can make the EU an effective security provider in the European continent and beyond, the spokesman added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results.

According to director of Anastasiades’ press office Andreas Iosif, the president’s trip to Madrid will also provide the opportunity for bilateral meetings with foreign leaders to brief them on issues concerning Cyprus, with the Cyprus problem being at the top of the agenda.

“His proposal for the implementation of confidence building measures (CBMs) that will help the whole process and the need for the Turkish side to abandon any provocative actions and its intransigent position will be the focus of President Anastasiades’ contacts,” Iosif said, adding that the president will return to Cyprus on Thursday.

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