Anastasiades invites May to visit
President Nicos Anastasiades has invited Prime Minister Teresa May to visit Cypru, according to a Downing Street spokesperson, who said that the Cypriot president “updated the Prime Minister on efforts to achieve a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus. The Prime Minister underlined the UK’s steadfast support for the process and said the UK stood ready to help bring this to a successful conclusion”.
The Cyprus News Agency quoted the spokesperson as saying that the two leaders discussed Brexit and May “made clear that the British people had voted to leave the EU and the Government would deliver that - there would be no going back. The PM emphasised that while the UK is leaving the EU, we are not leaving Europe and we would want to maintain strong relations with European countries and the EU once the UK has left”.
After the meeting, Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides told reporters that the two leaders mainly discussed three aspects of the issue: “Firstly, issues relating to the evolution of the Republic of Cyprus and secondly matters regarding security and guarantees. There was a detailed presentation by the President of the offer he has submitted during the negotiations.
“There was also an extensive discussion of matters relating to territory and property issues and how these two chapters are linked.”
Asked about the Prime Minister’s response, Christodoulides said that “PM May is very well informed about developments in the Cyprus issue but also about the current situation at the negotiating table. She has discussed the Cyprus issue with the Turkish President in a recent meeting. She conveyed Britain’s readiness to help either through the framework of the Security Council or otherwise, given the role that the UK traditionally plays with regard to the Cyprus issue. It is important that she repeated the known position of the UK concerning the guarantees, that is that London does not pursue any guarantor power role, but it is ready to play any role that both communities request,” said the spokesman.
On Brexit and the new picture that it creates as far as bilateral relations are concerned, Christodoulides said that the two leaders discussed the need to not only safeguard but further enhance them.
A statement issued by the UK High Commission in Nicosia noted that the weeks ahead will be pivotal in seeing whether the two community leaders leaders can bridge the gaps that still remain on several important chapters of the negotiations.
“The Prime Minister reiterated that the UK stands ready to help the two sides in their efforts to secure an historic agreement to reunite Cyprus. Prime Minister May and President Anastasiades discussed ways in which the UK might usefully do this,” the statement added.
It said that the Prime Minister welcomed the joint meeting of President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York on September 25 and the stage they have now reached in their negotiations to find a lasting solution to the Cyprus issue.
As President Anastasiades said in his address to the UN General Assembly on September 22, the current negotiations present a “window of opportunity” for all Cypriots.
The UK government believes the right solution to the Cyprus issue will bring clear economic and security benefits for Cyprus, for Cypriots and for the region, the statement stressed.
After meeting with the Cypriot diaspora organisations in London, President Anastasiades departed for Paris for talks with his French counterpart. He will meet Francois Hollande on Wednesday to discuss the Cyprus problem, bilateral relations, with emphasis on energy and security issues, as well as EU matters, an official statement said.
The President s accompanied by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides and other officials.
The President and his entourage return home late Wednesday.