Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus

The President of the Republic, Mr Nikos Christodoulides, held today a meeting with the President of the European Parliament, Ms Roberta Metsola, who paid an official visit in Cyprus, following an invitation by the President of the Republic, on the occasion of the anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Cyprus.

The President of the Republic welcomed Ms Metsola at the Presidential Palace today and an official ceremony followed, where the Anthems were performed. Ms Metsola then laid a wreath at the Monument of Archbishop Makarios III, the first President of the Republic of Cyprus.

A private meeting of the two Presidents took place followed by their remarks to the Media.

In his remarks, President Christodoulides said, among other things: «The presence of the President of the European Parliament here, today, sends the message of the continuing support of the EU to our efforts to lift the deadlock, resume talks, and resolve the Cyprus problem on the basis of the agreed framework and in accordance with the values and principles of the EU. The current situation cannot be the future of our homeland».

He further said that with President Metsola, with whom he received the salutation of the military parade that followed, they discussed the Cyprus issue and that he briefed her on the results of his meetings recently in New York and on our effort for the appointment of a UNSG envoy, also in accordance with the Security Council’s call, in order to examine the prospects for the resumption of negotiations.

He added that despite the problems, difficulties and challenges faced, our efforts will continue and we will do our utmost, also utilizing the important tools offered by the EU, in order to achieve the goal of the resumption of talks and the solution to the Cyprus problem.

On her part, the President of the European Parliament said, among other things: «The anniversary of the Independence marks the beginning of your country’s modern, independent and democratic course in history. It marks the successes and accomplishments of your people, but also reminds us of the tragedies your country has experienced during its 63 years of its independence.

Today, I want to send a message of strength, hope, unity and perseverance as we commemorate the creation of independent Cyprus. And I want to pay tribute to all those who made sacrifices for the liberation and self-governance of your country, as well as for the strengthening of its democratic institutions.

It is not a coincidence that I am here on your Independence Day. It is a reminder that we are not at the end yet. I want to send the clearest signals to Cyprus and the world that the EU is committed to this island. That this is not just a Cyprus question, but a Europe question.

The first thing I said when I was elected President of the European Parliament is that Europe will never be completed as long as Cyprus remains divided. That is also what I communicated to the UN Secretary General Guterres ten days ago in New York, where I underlined our support for a UN envoy to be appointed.

The only way to reunify the island of Cyprus and its people is via communication, diplomacy, and negotiation. Any unilateral, hostile actions will only push people further away. I want reunification talks to restart, based on trust and not violence. Unnecessary provocations do nothing to help.

The only sustainable solution is a single sovereign, European state, a bicommunal, bizonal federation, under the auspices of the UN and our shared European values. The European Parliament will do whatever is necessary to support Cyprus».

On the issue of migration, President Metsola said: «Flows to Cyprus and other neighbouring countries have increased dramatically in recent years», adding that we need a comprehensive set up to manage migration in the future.