President Nikos Christodoulides on Tuesday took part in a teleconference headed by the European Council President Charles Michel along with several other EU heads of state.
The virtual meeting was organised in preparation for the forthcoming European Council meeting in Brussels on March 23 and 24, the first for Christodoulides since becoming president.
During the meeting, Christodoulides reiterated Cyprus’ commitment to adhere to the EU principles and values.
Referring to his previous meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the president underlined his government’s will to cooperate fully with the EU, in particular on finding possible solutions leading to a resumption of the Cyprus talks.
Christodoulides also reaffirmed Cyprus’ support for Ukraine, stressing that Cyprus, as a country experiencing an invasion and an ongoing occupation, strongly supports the need to respect international legitimacy.
With regard to the economy, he said Cyprus agrees on the EU proposal to reduce debts in the medium term through an approach that takes into account the specificities of each member state, calling for international transparency and cooperation.
He also agreed on another EU proposal, urging for a reform of the electricity market. Christodoulides called it crucial for Cyprus due to its peripheral location, which makes energy interconnections a necessity.
Finally, he talked about Cyprus’ struggle to contain the migratory wave, adding that six per cent of the country’s population currently consists of asylum seekers and that the majority of illegal migrants make their way into the island through the north.
Christodoulides is travelling to Brussels on Tuesday night where he will participate in the European Council meeting after holding meetings with the heads of European Union institutions and country leaders.
On Wednesday, the Cypriot president will meet the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and later he will have lunch with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel.
Later in the afternoon, he will meet with the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola.
He will also give an interview to Euronews.
On Thursday morning, Christodoulides will participate in the European People’s Party meeting, which takes place on the margins of the European Council meeting.
He will then have a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Sweden, Ulf Kristersson, followed by a meeting with the President of the European People’s Party, Manfred Weber.
Later, President Christodoulides will participate in the proceedings of the European Council, during which he will have lunch with UN Secretary General António Guterres.
On Friday, the president of the Republic will participate in the second day of the summit, during which he will have separate meetings with the President of France, Emmanuel Macron and the Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz, as well as with other EU leaders.
Accompanying the president are Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis, the Director of the President’s Diplomatic Office Marilena Raouna, the Director of the President’s Press Office Victor Papadopoulos and other officials.
Christodoulides will return to Cyprus on Friday evening.