The President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades, expressed his strong will and determination to achieve a positive outcome in his meeting with the UN Secretary-General and the Turkish Cypriot leader in Berlin on November 25. The President of the Republic of Cyprus attends the proceedings of the European People’s Party (EPP) Congress held in Zagreb, Croatia.
In his address at the Congress, where he previously voted for the Vice-President of the EPP, the President of the Republic said, inter alia, that “the Conference is being held at a critical time in terms of the challenges Europe is facing”, noting that the Court’s Conclusions on these challenges constitute a strong declaration whose content, if implemented decisively and consistently, will give European citizens real hope for their future.
Referring to Climate Change, President Anastasiades said that it is the overriding issue of the times and urgent action is needed at national, regional and international level to address both its causes and its effects collectively.
He added that another issue that needs to be tackled in a comprehensive way is immigration, stressing that an effective and proper asylum system is part of a holistic approach to the issue.
The President of the Republic noted that “Cyprus continues to face disproportionate migration pressures and remains the first country in asylum applications in proportion to its population”.
He also said that the EU’s financial framework is also high on the EPP’s agenda, noting that “we recognize all efforts to modernize the budget and support the actions taken”. However, he said, this should not be at the expense of cohesion policy and the common agricultural policy.
He also stressed that unity in the EU is more necessary now than ever and the principles on which the EU is founded, such as peace, stability, security, prosperity and democracy, should be strengthened and that this unity must be demonstrated in relation to all the challenges that can put these principles at risk.
He added that EU rules and law and solidarity should not be viewed as a burden, but as a vehicle that strengthens and empowers the Union as a whole.
“Therefore, I take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the EPP family for their consistent support in our efforts to find a comprehensive and sustainable solution to the Cyprus problem, a support that becomes even more important amid the continuing tension and provocations of Turkey in the Cypriot maritime zones”, the President said.
He added that “in spite of Turkey’s illegal actions, I would like to reiterate my strong will and determination for a positive outcome of the forthcoming trilateral meeting with the UN Secretary-General and the Turkish Cypriot leader to be held in Berlin in a few days.
Our goal remains to find a solution that will reunite Cyprus without guarantees, foreign troops and foreign dependencies”.
Referring to the EPP, the President of the Republic said that the Congress was marking the end of an era, and warmly congratulated outgoing EPP President, Joseph Daul, for his successful term in the midst of one of the most difficult times for Europe.
He added that the Congress is also marking a new promising start with the election of outgoing President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, as its president.
“His strong commitment to EU principles and unity has always been the guiding force in consolidating the European Council’s strategic role and at the same time maintaining the Member States as a whole”, said President Anastasiades, expressing confidence that Tusk’s presidency will be wholly successful.
Finally, President Anastasiades expressed his warmest thanks and congratulations to the President of Croatia, Andrej Plenković, for hosting the Congress and wished for a successful Croatian Presidency at the EU Council beginning in January 2020./ibna