Written statement by the Government Spokesman, Mr Marios Pelekanos, on the EU-NATO dinner, attended by the President of the Republic, in Madrid
The President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, participated, last night, in the deliberations of the Euro-Atlantic working dinner hosted in Madrid by the Prime Minister of Spain, Mr Pedro Sánchez.
President Anastasiades had the opportunity to speak with a number of leaders of the EU and NATO countries, both on the sidelines and during the dinner. Among others, he exchanged views with the Greek Prime Minister, Mr Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the French President, Mr Emmanuel Macron, the British Prime Minister, Mr Boris Johnson, the Italian Prime Minister, Mr Mario Draghi, the Canadian Prime Minister, Mr Justin Trudeau, the Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer and the US President, Mr Joe Biden.
The President also spoke with his Turkish counterpart, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with whom he exchanged views, mainly on the Cyprus problem.
President Anastasiades declared to the President of Turkey his readiness to resume negotiations for a settlement of the Cyprus problem, under the auspices of the UN, and reiterated that he is always ready to enter into talks with the aim of resolving a longstanding problem, the solution of which will be beneficial for Cyprus and all Cypriots, as well as for stability and security in the Eastern Mediterranean, for the Greek-Turkish relations and for the EU-Turkey relations.
In his speech during the working dinner, before the 36 Heads of State and Government from EU and NATO Member States, the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the Secretary-General of NATO, the President of the Republic initially referred to the need to strengthen cooperation between the EU and NATO in order to address the great challenges of our times, and most significantly, the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has brought about major changes, not only in aspects of traditional security, but also in areas such as food security, energy security, migration and hybrid threats.
Of course, he added, the EU-NATO cooperation should always be based on respect of the autonomy of the two organizations in their decision-making processes, on one hand, and on the other hand, on respect of international law.
President Anastasiades pointed out, in his intervention, four points that should be prioritized; that is: (a) the strengthening of EU’s autonomous defence capabilities, so that it can help deal with crisis situations in Europe, but also internationally, always in abidance with and cooperation with allies, such as NATO or other countries with which the EU shares common interests and values, (b) the commitment to zero tolerance, either towards violations of international law or revisionist policies, (c) the solution of existing problems which threaten the coherence of the two organizations, on the basis of mutual respect and solidarity, and (d) the implementation by all countries of the sanctions imposed against Russia, in order to render them more effective.
Referring to the Cyprus problem which he described as an “open wound”, the President of the Republic stressed that, as long as it perpetuates, it will continue to pose a threat to peace, security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, but also to Europe in general.
He reiterated that his aim remains the end of the division in Cyprus and the achievement of a functional and sustainable settlement based on the resolutions of the Security Council and the provisions of international law.
Finally, President Anastasiades underlined his commitment to the effort to create conditions that will allow the resumption of negotiations, from the point where they were interrupted, aiming at reaching a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem. A goal that will be possible provided that all stakeholders decide that it is finally time for an agreement that will lead to a normal state, which will benefit all citizens of the Republic of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
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