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Mattarella stresses importance of Cyprus solution

President Nikos Christodoulides, welcomes the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella
President Nikos Christodoulides, welcomes the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella

The solution to the Cyprus problem is of fundamental importance for the balance in the Mediterranean, Italian President Sergio Mattarella said in statements at the presidential palace after his private meeting with President Nikos Christodoulides.

Mattarella spoke of the 50th-anniversary of the Turkish invasion and stressed his country’s support for a solution of a bizonal bicommunal federation in accordance with UN resolutions.

He also welcomed the arrival of the UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy Maria Holgiun, who he said, “has a difficult task in front of her”.

He referred to the deep ties between the two countries, cooperation in areas such as energy and defence, while on migration he said that the two countries are at the forefront and a common European policy and a common treaty on asylum are needed.

In his remarks, Christodoulides referred to close cooperation within the EU, Med 9 and Med 5 and bilateral cooperation in energy, defence, security, and culture.

He also expressed his readiness and determination for the resumption of Cyprus talks based on the agreed framework. The president spoke of the decisive role of the EU.

At 4pm, Mattarella was welcomed by Christodoulides and the First Lady, Philippa Karsera-Christodoulides. During the welcoming ceremony, the national anthems of Italy and Cyprus were played, and a National Guard unit paid tribute.

Mattarella laid a wreath at the statue of Archbishop Makarios III, first president of the Republic of Cyprus and greeted the delegations of the two countries.

The two presidents then proceeded to the entrance of the Presidential Palace, where a red carpet was laid, and they shook hands in front of the entrance of the building before entering.

The two presidents have met in private and held expanded talks with their delegations.

According to a presidency press release, in the afternoon, the two presidents visited Nicosia Town Hall and the old town of the capital along the Green Line, while Mattarella also had a meeting with members of the Italian community in Cyprus.

Yiorkadjis, Mattarella, Christodoulides, Nicosia, mayor
Visit to Nicosia Municipality and walk through the old part of Nicosia along the Green Line

Mattarella visited the old town along with his wife, and Christodoulides and his wife. They were guided by Nicosia Mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis.

Mattarella saw the divide, and the upgrades being made to the old town.

Yiorkadjis explained the renovation of the area and the aim to make a neighbourhood with startups and to strengthen Turkish Cypriot entrepreneurship by creating something similar on the northern side of the city.

Christodoulides then intervened to say, “the problem has never been the Greek Cypriot -Turkish Cypriot relations, the problem is Turkey”. The Italian president commented on the quality of the buildings and the image of the neighbourhood.

The tour was short, and the two presidents and their large entourage left immediately after the tour.

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