President Nikos Christodoulides on Saturday expressed satisfaction with the inclusion of a reference to the Cyprus issue in the draft conclusions of the European Council, which will convene on June 29 and 30, noting that this reference “sends messages in all directions”.

Answering questions from journalists on the sidelines of the event for Children’s Day at the Presidential Palace, the President also said that he will have a series of phone calls with European leaders as part of the consultations taking place for the conclusions.

He noted that the European Council is the first of the three milestones indirectly defined in the government’s efforts for the resumption of the talks.

Following, as he stated, is the Nato Summit in Lithuania and the United Nations General Assembly, which he described as the event where everything culminates.

Moreover, the President expressed his satisfaction with the fact that there is a reference to the Cyprus issue in the draft, as Cyprus is not among the topics of discussion of the European Council.

“Due to our own initiative, the mobility that we are trying to create through our efforts, our partners have included a specific reference to the Cyprus issue in the draft, which is reinforced each time,” he said.

He added that the summit will take place next week on Thursday and Friday and that the procedures are ongoing.

“There are contacts at the technocratic level, and I will have meetings with leaders of other countries before the summit, so that a positive message for the EU’s readiness can be conveyed,” he noted.

He reiterated that the goal is to break the deadlock and resume the negotiations.

“What we are seeing in the EU, the response from our partners, and the decision to include a reference to the Cyprus issue, is a positive development, one that sends messages in all directions,” he stated.

Regarding the Nato Summit to be held on July 11-12, he emphasised that it will be the first one attended by the President of Turkey after his re-election, and within the framework of his presence there, there will be several meetings with European leaders.

He added that during these discussions, Europeans will also refer to the Cyprus issue, the need to restart the negotiations, and the role that the EU can play in relation to the desire expressed by the Turkish President for progress in EU-Turkey relations.

Christodoulides, at an event on the occasion of the International Children’s Day, organised by the Office of the First Lady.

President Christodoulides

With the European Council Summit next week, the President noted, the results of the initiative of the Cypriot Government will officially begin to be reflected, and he expressed hope that they will culminate with the resumption of the negotiations.

Meanwhile, at the same event, the president also described the recent agreement by the EU Council on migration and asylum laws as “an important step”.

When asked about the immigration issue and the actions of the Republic of Cyprus to prevent tragedies like the one in Pylos, Christodoulides said that “what happened is tragic.”

“In our case, although we have a huge problem with irregular migration, we always operate within the framework of protecting these people, and beyond that, always within the framework of international legality, we follow all the relevant procedures,” he added.

Speaking about irregular migration, the president said that it is “one of the biggest problems we face today”.

Therefore, he stated, from day one of assuming office and through specific actions there have been some initial results”.

“Are we satisfied? No,” he stressed, indicating that “this effort needs to continue, especially over the next 2-3 years, in order for us to address this issue”.

Asked about the commitments of the EU Interior Ministers to address migration, President Christodoulides noted that they cannot be implemented on their own.

Furthermore, he mentioned that he considers “the agreement reached at the EU level on migration to be an important step”, adding that it is “a first step after years of negotiations”.

The president also welcomed the fact that EU member states have voluntarily agreed to send migrants to their home countries.

“Without the cooperation of the EU, we cannot achieve our goals.”