Cyprus: The Council of Political Leaders convened under President Anastasiades

Cyprus: The Council of Political Leaders convened under President Anastasiades

The President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades chaired on Tuesday evening the third meeting of the Council of Leaders of the political parties, at the Presidential Palace.

After the meeting, Government Spokesman Kyriakos Kousios told reporters that “all political leaders and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance and Labor were present at the meeting.

The President of the Republic informed the political leaders about the political developments, apparently he also referred to the diplomatic marathon in which we have been running lately and you know the contacts that have been made. He informed them about the contacts he had, about the evaluations we have for the developments, he also informed about the results of the last Summit of the Mediterranean states and about the contacts he had in view of the forthcoming European Council on the 24th and 25th of the month in Brussels”.

The political leaders were briefed on the financial situation and the recovery plans and the relevant Ministers briefed in detail and answered questions posed by the political leaders on the issues of their responsibilities.

The meeting was held in a really excellent atmosphere and as far as the finances are concerned, the President of the Republic instructed the Minister of Finance to have bilateral contacts with all political parties, so that their views can be heard in view of the preparation of the state budgets for 2020- 2021.

“There has been a productive discussion on all issues and it is with great pleasure that I attended this session, which was in an excellent atmosphere”, he said.

Asked how the Government assesses the renewal of Turkey’s illegal activity in the Cyprus’ EEZ, Kyriakos Kousios said that “it is a development that exactly proves Turkey’s policy, the policy of destabilizing and challenging the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus. It is something that tomorrow (today) the President of the Republic will have the opportunity to discuss during his meeting with the President of the European Council Charles Michel, who has already arrived in Cyprus.

It is also something that will certainly be discussed at the forthcoming European Council”.

Asked whether Nicosia would insist on linking the sanctions to Belarus and Turkey, the government spokesman said: “I want to make it clear that there have been some political comments that do not correspond to reality. The policy of the Republic of Cyprus regarding Belarus has always been stable. The President of the Republic and the Minister of Foreign Affairs have repeatedly stated that we are in favor of sanctions, but at the same time we have said that the EU should not deal with the issue with double standards.

In other words, one cannot make decisions on sanctions against Belarus, while at the same time, in the case of Turkey, use other principles to impose sanctions. Our position is that if Turkey continues to threaten the settlement of Famagusta and take legal action in our EEZ, we must proceed in accordance with the decisions of the Informal European Council in Berlin and in a continuation what has been discussed at the previous European Council.

“Our position is that the EU, the European Council should discuss further sanctions on Turkey”.

Asked about Turkey’s escalating attitude towards Cyprus and the actions that seem to show de-escalation in relation to Greece, Kyriakos Kousios said that “we should not associate the threats of Turkey to Greece with what is happening in Cyprus. Cyprus had achieved a decision and sanctions have already been taken against Turkey, obviously unsatisfactory ones, but the institutional framework for sanctions has been positive for us, there has been a decision, and our position is that there should be further sanctions that cost Turkey, to be a deterrent to Turkey’s illegal activities”./ibna