Schulz con­fi­dent Cyprus will be reunited ‘soon’

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Euro­pean Par­lia­ment Pres­i­dent Martin Schulz said he was op­ti­mistic that “one day soon” Cyprus will be reunited, point­ing out that noth­ing is easy but ev­ery­thing is pos­si­ble.

Ad­dress­ing an of­fi­cial din­ner hosted by Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades in Ni­cosia, Schulz said that he was in Cyprus “to ex­press on be­half of the mem­bers of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, on be­half of the EU the full and un­con­di­tional sup­port for your coun­try.”

He said that “as a cit­i­zen of a coun­try which had the priv­i­lege to be, af­ter 40 years of divi­sion, uni­fied in a mo­ment where no­body ex­pected that it is pos­si­ble” and “now we are 25 years af­ter the re­uni­fi­ca­tion of Ger­many, noth­ing is im­pos­si­ble.”

Schulz said that “it is an his­toric ex­pe­ri­ence. It may last a long time but sooner or later you can’t go against his­tory and, there­fore, I am op­ti­mistic that one day, I hope soon, your coun­try will be a reunited coun­try.”

He also noted that af­ter his meet­ing with the po­lit­i­cal par­ties from both com­mu­ni­ties, he said that “your is­land is amid a very tur­bu­lent re­gion. A sus­tain­able sta­bil­ity in your coun­try is an enor­mous con­tri­bu­tion to se­cu­rity for Europe and the Mid­dle East, for the Mediter­ranean, for the whole world.”

On his part, Pres­i­dent Anas­tasi­ades said that “this year, Cyprus marls the 12th an­niver­sary of its ac­ces­sion to the Euro­pean Union which was the most im­por­tant achieve­ment since the dec­la­ra­tion of our coun­try’s in­de­pen­dence. Our membership in a po­lit­i­cal union of de­vel­oped and demo­cratic states, gave us the op­por­tu­nity both as a so­ci­ety and as a state to en­ter into a process of re­forms and mod­erni­sa­tion based on the EU ac­quis.

“Dur­ing these years, un­for­tu­nately, we have also ex­pe­ri­enced an un­prece­dented eco­nomic cri­sis. Nev­er­the­less, the Cypriot econ­omy is emerg­ing back to re­cov­ery, faster than any­one could have pre­dicted. We have shown to our Euro­pean part­ners that Cypri­ots are turn­ing our eco­nomic chal­lenges into an op­por­tu­nity, an achieve­ment that was reached with vision, de­tailed plan­ning and pru­dence.”

Anas­tasi­ades con­cluded that “the Euro­pean Union is faced today with two ma­jor crises; the scourge of ter­ror­ism and the mass refugee flow. I will not get into de­tails now con­cern­ing these two crit­i­cal chal­lenges but I will only say that Euro­pean sol­i­dar­ity can work if all mem­ber states com­mit to it and de­fend our val­ues and achieve­ments.

Ear­lier in the day, Martin Schulz met with the Greek Cypriot and Turk­ish Cypriot po­lit­i­cal par­ties which par­tic­i­pate in the Le­dra Palace meet­ings at the UN buf­fer zone, for the past three decades, un­der the aus­pices of the Em­bassy of Slo­vakia in Ni­cosia.

Ad­dress­ing the meet­ing, Schulz said “we are liv­ing in tur­bu­lent and dra­matic times” not­ing that the EU was never in its his­tory in such chal­lenged times as it is today.

He pointed out that there is not only the refugee cri­sis, but also ter­ror­ism, un­em­ploy­ment, na­tion­al­ism, the dif­fi­cult re­la­tions with Rus­sia, the Ukraine is­sue, the de­vel­op­ments in the US and China.

We need a strong and co­her­ent EU, he said. Re­fer­ring to un­em­ploy­ment, he said that there are some re­gions in Europe where the rate reaches 60% and that this is of con­cern since the young gen­er­a­tion of Europe today is the most ed­u­cated one.

Euro­pean Par­lia­ment Pres­i­dent Martin Schulz said that the work done by the Com­mit­tee on Miss­ing Per­sons (CMP) is “ex­tra­or­di­nary” with re­gards to bring­ing dig­nity to miss­ing per­sons and show­ing sol­i­dar­ity to their fam­i­lies and has ex­pressed his con­tin­ued sup­port and thanks.

Schulz, who vis­ited the CMP premises where the sci­en­tific work takes place in the UN pro­tected area in Ni­cosia said he was “very touched and moved by what I just saw and I want to present not only a guar­an­tee of our sup­port of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment but also my per­sonal thanks”.

What you are do­ing is an ex­tra­or­di­nary con­tri­bu­tion to, I am not ex­ag­ger­at­ing us­ing the word `peace­mak­ing`, he said. “What you are do­ing here is not only from a sci­en­tific point of view fas­ci­nat­ing, it is from a po­lit­i­cal and from a hu­man point of view unique.”

He re­peated an in­vi­ta­tion to the mem­bers of the CMP, “to come to Brus­sels and to present in an ex­hi­bi­tion to a broader pub­lic what you are do­ing here and to win over a lot of my col­leagues to make the sup­port for CMP sus­tain­able for a long stand­ing pe­riod.”

“I could never imag­ine in my life that such a place ex­ists”, he said. He ad­mit­ted that he “knew the CMP from the bud­get line of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment.” Now, he stressed, “I know how im­por­tant that line is.”

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