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Cyprus problem included in draft EU council statement (Updated)

eu leaders meet in brussels
President Nikos Christodoulides

President Nikos Christodoulides is satisfied by the paragraph about the Cyprus problem in the draft conclusions of the European Council, which is holding its summit meeting on Thursday.

In relation to his proposal for the appointment of an EU envoy for the Cyprus issue, he noted that because of this proposal there is a reference in the draft to EU involvement in all stages of the process.

As he noted, the member states “see the added value of the appointment of an individual” on the Cyprus issue, and “for this reason there is also in the conclusions the reference that the European Union is ready to be involved in all stages of the effort, and now in the breaking of the impasse and the resumption of talks.”

Christodoulides also noted that the lunch of the leaders with the Secretary General of NATO is of particular importance, since in the bilateral meetings with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan that will take place on the sidelines of the Nato Summit in Vilnius in July, it is expected that not only the issue of the integration of Sweden, but also the Cyprus issue will be discussed.

In his statements, Christodoulides spoke of an important meeting, focusing particularly on the discussion that will take place on immigration issues as well as the working lunch with the Secretary General of Nato, Jens Stoltenberg.

As he said, the issue of immigration is important “not only because of the tragic event we saw recently, but also because of the summer season we have massive arrivals of immigrants in Cyprus.”

He referred to the positive developments that have taken place at EU level, and to the agreement of the ministers of the interior and justice regarding the provisions of the new pact on migration and asylum.

“We expect it to pass through the European Parliament soon, but we will have to do more,” he added, noting that the agreement reached with Tunisia “is a good example on which we must build, but we must move immediately.”

Regarding the working lunch of the leaders with the Secretary General of Nato, Christodoulides said that for Cyprus the upcoming Nato Summit in Lithuania is of particular importance, especially because of the meetings that will take place on the sidelines of the summit with the Turkish president.

“Of the issues that will be discussed, certainly the integration of Sweden is the most important issue, but it is also the effort being made to restart the [Cyprus] talks, with the European Union having a more active role,” he added.

Earlier, the paragraph on the Cyprus problem and EU-Turkey relations in the draft conclusions of the EU Council summit circulated.

According to reports, the two paragraphs are in the conclusion section under “Eastern Mediterranean”.

President Nikos Christodoulides left on Wednesday to attend the conference in Brussels.

On the sidelines of the summit, the president will have bilateral meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron and the prime ministers of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and of Portugal, Antonio Costa.

The paragraph on the Cyprus problem is expected to say that the European Council remains fully committed to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, within the framework of the United Nations, in a manner consistent with the relevant UNSC resolutions and in accordance with the principles on which the EU is based and the acquis.

The draft paragraph says: “The European Union calls for the swift resumption of negotiations and stands ready to play an active role in supporting all stages of the UN-led negotiation process with all appropriate means at its disposal.”

Also, according to the document that is circulating, the paragraph on EU-Turkey relations is expected to say that the council expects the EU foreign affairs chief and commission to submit a report on the state of relations between the two with a view of moving forward in a strategic and future-oriented manner.

Earlier this month, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz took a swipe at both sides for the lack of movement after meeting Christodoulides, saying that for talks to gain momentum it requires political courage “from both sides” and questioned whether there was “enough will from both sides”.

As if to reinforce this, Germany’s ambassador to Cyprus Anke Schlimm, in an interview with Politis on Sunday said “willingness to compromise” was important to move forward.

She was clear that Germany remains committed to supporting a resolution of the Cyprus issue through talks under the auspices of the UN.

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