Cyprus Mail

Christodoulides to speak with von der Leyen on Friday night

eu proposes new package of sanctions against russia
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

President Nikos Christodoulides will hold a telephone conversation with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Friday night.

The pair will discuss a number of issues, including Cyprus’ plan to open a maritime humanitarian corridor to Gaza, according to Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis.

In addition, he said Christodoulides will “inform [Von der Leyen] about the efforts made by the government to resume negotiations on the Cyprus problem from where they were interrupted” at Crans Montana in 2017.

Letymbiotis told reporters Christodoulides has already presented “elements” of the plan both at the recent European Council meeting in Brussels, but also to countries in the Middle East and Levantine region.

He also pointed out that Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos visited Jordan and Palestine earlier this week and also met his German counterpart on Thursday to discuss the matter.

He added that Christodoulides will “develop aspects and parameters” of the idea as it takes shape and in light of discussions with other countries and organisations and highlighted the importance of those involved being on the same page on the issue.

Christodoulides will also inform Von der Leyen about the next moves he wishes to make to further promote the idea.

Letymbiotis added, “the credibility and consistency of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as its status as a member state of the European Union, act as a guarantee for the implementation of this effort.”

He said Cyprus is “an integral part of the region” and described the planned humanitarian corridor as “a manifestation of active diplomacy which demonstrates the essential role our country can have and the active role it can play in the region.”

On the Cyprus problem, he said Christodoulides will tell Von der Leyen Cyprus’ efforts “are focused on the appointment of a United Nations Special Envoy, with the aim of creating the conditions for the resumption of negotiations.”

He added that Christodoulides “will reiterate the government’s commitment to the resumption of negotiations with a view to the definitive resolution of the Cyprus problem within the agreed framework,” while also speaking of the “active role the EU can play”.

He will also speak about the ongoing flow of migrants towards Europe, pointing out that an escalation in the ongoing crisis in the Middle East “may lead to increased immigration flows” to Cyprus.

“Cyprus is taking preventative measures in case of new flows of migrants, so it can respond in a timely and effective manner,” he said, adding that to this end Christodoulides will “underline the need for the European Union’s institutions and member states to support Cyprus and show substantial solidarity, and to play a more active role in the region.”

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