The President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, speaking at the 4th Euro-Arab Summit in Athens, pointed out that Cyprus is a modern state and an EU member state, that does not need guarantors or guardians.
Nicos Anastasiades expressed his belief in the strengthening of ties, the deepening of the beneficial cooperation between the Union and the Arab World, and concreting the contacts between them.
The Cypriot President went on to stress to the need for collective action to effectively address the challenges the region is facing, which are not confined to national borders.
Challenges such as terrorism, religious fundamentalism, the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms, violations of the territorial integrity of states, most recent in Syria due to the Turkish invasion, civil wars and national conflicts, in combination with specific nations’ pursuits and targets, add to the prolonged instability and humanitarian crisis of the forcible displacement of millions of people.
“Notwithstanding any differences or disagreements, decisive steps are required in order to radically and tangibly deliver decisions and measures on the part of the European Union”, aiming at:
(i) Addressing the causes of the uncontrolled worsening of the crisis in our region. It has been decided that an EU program of over € 40 billion must be invested in North African countries in order to create conditions for indigenous peoples to stay, to create jobs in order for tensions to be de-escalated, apart from the refugee departures due to warlike conditions.
(ii) Creating and enhancing programs that cultivate conditions for long-standing and sustainable development.
(iii) Addressing the problem of migration effectively, through a holistic and collective approach, on the basis of the principle of solidarity and equitable sharing of responsibilities, and
(iv) Tackling terrorism permanently, including both the terrorist attacks it and their perpetrators.
President Anastasiades also noted that the Cypriot government has never disregarded or denied the interests of the Turkish-Cypriots, and proposals for this have been tabled until the Cyprus problem is resolved.
“A progressive solution of Cyprus turning into a bi-communal, bi-zonal state that safeguards the human rights and prospects of cooperation between the two communities without dependence on third countries”, he added, stressing that: “We do not need guarantors or guardians. We can live peacefully among ourselves and co-create for the common perspective”.
The Cypriot President noted, at the same time, that the steady position of both Cyprus and Greece is that only through collective action and innovative synergies can peace, stability and economic development be promoted in view of the peoples’ prosperity.
“In this context, we have pursued bilateral and trilateral partnerships, as well as debates and collaborations with countries in the region, with a positive agenda on various issues of common interest”, President Anastasiades stressed, noting that these trilateral mechanisms are real proof of what can be achieved and results from a broader regional dialogue, as well through close coordination of actions and movements on an international level, alongside the efforts to further deepen the relationship between the European Union and the Arab world.
“The partnerships we have developed do not go against any third country. On the contrary, the participation of any third country is welcomed, provided, of course, that it adopts the basic principles of international law and good neighborly relations. ”
Cyprus is determined to proceed seamlessly with its energy plans and to exploit the gas reserves discovered as a source of regional economic co-operation, development and prosperity, Nicos Anastasiadis also noted. /ibna