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12-02-2024 14:02

Statements by the President of the Republic and the President of Germany

The President of the Republic, Mr Nikos Christodoulides, and the President of Germany, Mr Frank-Walter Steinmeier made statements to the media today, following their tête-à-tête meeting and the extended talks between their delegations, at the Presidential Palace.

In his statements to the media, welcoming Mr Steinmeier on his first official visit to Cyprus as President of Germany, President Christodoulides noted, inter alia, his satisfaction regarding the close cooperation between the two countries in “areas in which we have the strategic objective of further expanding our cooperation,” such as education, culture, immigration, defence and safety, health, and tourism.

As regards to their European agenda, the two presidents discussed the pressing issue of immigration as well as the developments in Ukraine. “The position of the Republic of Cyprus is that we should work together to further integrate the European Union (EU), to come even closer and to offer much more to our citizens,” stated President Christodoulides.

He also referred to the regional developments in Gaza and Israel, underlying “the need for an end to the hostilities.” Furthermore, he mentioned Cyprus’ efforts to establish a maritime humanitarian aid corridor as Cyprus, the closest EU member state to the region, “we have a duty as member states to play a more prominent role in the developments.”

Concluding, President Christodoulides stated that 2024 marks the 50th anniversary of the Turkish invasion and continued occupation. “My vision and sole ambition is to end this unacceptable state of affairs – half a century of occupation – to reunite our country on the basis of the agreed framework, the United Nations (UN) resolutions and the EU principles and values,” said President Christodoulides. He added that the EU must contribute significantly in order to reinforce the UN effort as it has the means which can aid in reaching “a mutually beneficial state of affairs for all Cypriot people, for the EU, for Turkey, for Euro-Turkish relations.”

On his part, President Steinmeier said, inter alia, “For us and for all of Europe, Cyprus is truly a safe heaven in the region and I mean that literally, especially after the Hamas terrorist attack. We had to prepare for a possible evacuation of German nationals and that is why we sent German soldiers to Cyprus. I would like to thank Cyprus for the support it has given us, which has been swift, multi-faceted and vital.”

Referring to the Cyprus problem, President Steinmeier stated that a solution to the Cyprus problem must be reached, expressing Germany’s support for “a bizonal, bicommunal solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of the UN parameters.” Moreover, he welcomed the appointment of the UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy, Ms Cuellar, stressing its importance in order to “give new momentum to the solution of the Cyprus problem and break the stalemate.”

Concluding, President Steinmeier noted that Germany will send German police officers to Cyprus for the first time, who will assume their duties in the coming months.