President Nicos Anastasiades called on Friday on the President of the European Council Charles Michel, who is set to visit Ankara next week, to convey to the need for Turkey to show political will that will allow the resumption of substantive talks on Cyprus.
Michel, along with European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, will travel to Turkey on April 6, after EU leaders agreed last week to relaunch cooperation with Ankara on trade and migration, but in a “phased, proportionate and reversible” manner.
Ahead of the visit, Anastasiades and Michel held a videoconference on Friday, with the Cypriot President reiterating his determination to constructively participate in the informal conference to be held in Geneva in late April, a written statement by government spokesman Kyriakos Koushos said.
Anastasiades also urged Michel to emphasise to Turkey the urgent need to show the same goodwill as the Greek Cypriot side in order to create the necessary conditions to resume substantial talks.
Koushos said the President referred to the significance of EU participation at the Geneva conference and at formal talks that may resume, strengthening prospects to resolve the Cyprus issue and achieve a functional, viable solution.
Anastasiades also reiterated that the current de-escalation of tension on the part of Turkey as regards the Cyprus EEZ must continue with consistency. The Cyprus President also stressed that in violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions, threats to implement illegal Turkish plans in the Varosha region continue, just weeks before the Geneva conference.
On the immigration issue, Anastasiades expanded on the island’s difficulties, ranking among high among EU member states in asylum applications in relation to population, noting Turkey’s refusal to fulfil its obligations on the matter is only exacerbating the situation.