President Nikos Christodoulides begins his contacts in Brussels this coming week, aiming among other things to promote his proposal for a more active involvement of the European Union in the Cyprus issue.
Government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis told the Cyprus News Agency that meetings would take place between President of the European Council Charles Michel, President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. These have already been scheduled.
At the same time, as the spokesman said, Christodoulides would hold meetings on the sidelines of the European Council with French President Emmanuel Macron and the Prime Minister of Sweden Ulf Kristersson who holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU this semester. A meeting is also expected to be arranged with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
On the morning of March 23, and ahead of the European Council Summit, Christodoulides will have the opportunity to present his proposal for a more active EU involvement in an effort to lift the impasse in the Cyprus issue in line with UN parameters, before the leaders of the European People’s Party (EPP).
There has already been a telephone conversation with EPP President Manfred Weber and it was agreed that Christodoulides would take the floor to detail his proposal before the Summit of the EPP, the largest political group of the European Parliament, Letymbiotis said.
The spokesman also said that at the beginning of April, Christodoulides is expected to visit Egypt, and will travel to Israel after Orthodox Easter, which means after April 16.
On Sunday Director General of the DG Structural Reform Support in the EU, Mario Nava was quoted as saying that the EU was looking forward to seeing the proposal for the bloc’s further involvement in the Cyprus issue.
In an interview with Kathimerini, he said: “We look forward to studying the detailed and thorough proposal of the president.”
Commenting on the Turkish Cypriot leader’s insistence on a two-state solution, the EU official said it was “absolutely clear” that the Commission strongly believes in the solution framework set by the UN for a bizonal, bicommunal federation”.
“What we welcome is for the two leaders to discuss confidence building measures, which could pave the way for a resumption of talks,” he said.
Referring to the Turkish side’s opening of Varosha, Nava said the Commission was guided by the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council. “On this we are absolutely clear that Varosha should be handed over to the UN without any conditions.”
Nava said the Commission has special services that work to promote reunification in Cyprus with specific actions. These services, he said, are under the umbrella of the EU aid programme for the Turkish Cypriot community. “So we will continue to play an active role in the region as special emphasis is placed on the economy,” he said.