|President Juncker in Cyprus: The past should not be in the way of re-unification|
The Cypriot economy, energy questions and progress in the Cyprus talks featured high on the agenda of this visit of President Juncker. The President met President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı and spoke before the Parliament, calling for unity and confirming the Commission’s full support.
On the second day of his official visit to Cyprus President Juncker addressed the plenary of the House of Representatives and had the opportunity to meet the Speaker, Mr Yiannakis Omirou, and the leaders of the political parties represented in the House.
In his speech President Juncker underlined that he wants to support the process to solve the Cyprus question. He showed himself convinced that Cypriot unity is within reach, underlining that the “past should not be in the way of progress and that it should not have a veto over the future”. He admitted that it would not be easy but stressed in a very personal speech that if it is possible for Europe to make peace after the past wars and tragedies, why shouldn’t it be possible in Cyprus. “You have to do it now! You have to do it together. You won’t be alone. The EU will follow this process day by day. (…) I will come back to re-unified Cyprus and I want to be here next year.”
Already on 16 July, he announced his decision to re-appoint Pieter Van Nuffel as his special representative who will work actively together with UN and the two parties and provide the European Commission’s political and technical advice that is needed.
President Juncker commended the courage, determination and far-sightedness of President Anastasiades and M. Akıncı and expressed his conviction that both can strike a deal where both sides come out as winners.
On the economic front, President Juncker stressed that Cyprus has been, going through an economic adjustment programme which has required important efforts, social, economic and political efforts. “I want to pay tribute to these efforts, to the commitment of your political leaders to implement the programme and to welcome the fact that now the results are visible”, he underlined.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker pays a two-day visit to Cyprus on 16-17 July at the invitation of President Nikos Anastasiades. It is President Juncker’s first official visit to a Member State since becoming President of the European Commission. The President is accompanied by the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides.
President Juncker met President Anastasiades to discuss prospects for the country’s economy and how Cyprus can benefit from the Investment Plan for Europe. Energy questions and progress in the Cyprus talks also feature high on the agenda. President Juncker also met Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı to discuss, amongst other issues, how the Commission can better help the Turkish-Cypriot Community to prepare for the period after the settlement of the Cyprus issue. A joint working lunch of the three leaders at Nicosia’s buffer zone took place. Read More…