President Nikos Christodoulides expressed hope for developments over the Cyprus problem during the upcoming talks on EU-Turkey relations slated for April.

His remarks were aired during an interview with Euronews on Friday on the sidelines of the EU Summit in Brussels.

The president specified that during his meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Germany’s interests do not lie only on EU-Turkey matters, but also on the Cyprus problem.

EU – Turkey relations, he added, will be discussed in April so that a strategic discussion can take place on the future of those relations.

By April we will see some developments. We hope to see developments in relation to the Cyprus problem that will help the dialogue which will take place.”

Christodoulides also referred to his meeting with the UN Secretary General, noting that Guterres informed him about his plans so “we see some positive developments. He has some ideas.”

Asked if Turkish President’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan recent statements about Cyprus are in line with the positive message that Germany and other countries initially wanted to send, he said “no they are not” adding that nobody saw a positive sign in Erdogan’s statements.

“The German Chancellor was aware of Erdogan’s statements and the French President as well, who was also involved in the discussion we had with the Germans, both on the EU-Turkey issues and on the Cyprus issue” he pointed out.

Asked about the idea of a special EU envoy for the Cyprus issue, he said that it was discussed in detail with the German Chancellor as well and expressed satisfaction that “it is not ruled out by the European Union”.

Role for Amalthea initiative

Discussing Amalthea, Christodoulides heralded the support behind Cyprus’ initiative, which is a maritime humanitarian corridor shipping aid from Larnaca port to Gaza.

“It is the first time in 17 years that the naval blockade of Gaza is lifted by Israel, only for ships leaving from Cyprus,” Christodoulides said.

The president expressed satisfaction for the support he said came from 27 EU leaders as well as the UNSG during the Brussels European Council.

“Our goal now is to strengthen it [Amalthea] even more, because there is a humanitarian crisis” he highlighted, and stressed the need to create the circumstances for restarting the political process to solve the Middle East problem.

Christodoulides underlined the corridor can also have a role in Gaza after the war is over. “It can play a role in the reconstruction of, for example, Gaza, because it is a model, an example that can be applied in many crises in the region.”

Christodoulides specified there are other important issues as well, noting that he was in Cairo with the President of the Commission, together with four other leaders of EU member states.

“We are now working with the Commission to present something similar in relation to Lebanon, to go to Lebanon together. There is an immigration issue there, let’s see how we can deal with it. How can the European Union, as it did in the case of Egypt, deal with it in the case of Lebanon,” he said.

He added that he also discussed the matter with French President Emmanuel Macron who expressed readiness to be part of the visit to Lebanon.