The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Anastasiadis, took part in the work of the Euro-Atlantic working dinner hosted in Madrid by the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez.
President Anastasiadis had the opportunity to talk with a number of EU and NATO leaders, both on the sidelines of the dinner and during it. Among other things, he exchanged views with the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the French President Emmanuel Macron, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Italian Mario Draghi, the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trindade, the Austrian Progaro Kager.
He also spoke with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with whom he exchanged views, mainly on the Cyprus issue.
According to Cypriot government spokesman Mario Pelekano, Mr. Anastasiadis told the Turkish President that he was ready to resume talks on a settlement of the Cyprus issue under the auspices of the UN, and reiterated that he was always ready to enter into talks. , with the aim of resolving a chronic problem, the solution of which will be beneficial for Cyprus and all Cypriots, as well as for stability and security in the Eastern Mediterranean, for Greek-Turkish relations and for EU-Turkey relations.
In his speech, during the working dinner, in front of the 36 Heads of State and Government from EU and NATO Member States, the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the Secretary General of NATO, he initially stressed the need to strengthen cooperation between the EU and NATO in order to meet the great challenges of our time, with the salient consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine which has brought about major changes, not only in aspects of traditional security, but also in areas such as security energy security, migration and hybrid threats.
Of course, the President of the Republic added, EU-NATO cooperation should always be based on respect, on the one hand, the autonomy of the two organizations in terms of their decision-making processes and, on the other hand, international law.
In a written statement, Mr. Pelekanos notes that President Anastasiadis pointed out in his speech four points that should be set as a priority, namely:
(a) strengthening the EU’s autonomous defense capabilities so that it can assist in dealing with crises in Europe and internationally, always in coherence and cooperation with allies such as NATO or other countries with which the EU shares common interests and values,
(b) showing zero tolerance, either for breaches of international law or for revisionist policies;
(c) resolving existing problems which threaten the cohesion of the two Organizations on the basis of mutual respect and solidarity; and
(d) the implementation by all countries of the sanctions imposed on Russia in order to make them more effective.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, which he described as an “open wound”, he stressed that as long as it lasts, it will continue to be a threat to peace, security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, but also in Europe in general. He reiterated that his aim remains to end the division in Cyprus and to achieve a functioning and sustainable settlement on the basis of Security Council resolutions and those provided for in international law.
Finally, President Anastasiadis underlined his commitment to the effort to create conditions that will allow the resumption of negotiations from the point where they were suspended with the aim of a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem. A goal that will be achieved provided that all those involved decide that it is finally time for an agreement that will lead to a normal state, which will be to the benefit of all citizens of the Republic of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
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