Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides will propose specific political figures from EU member states, some of whom he has already been in contact with, to the President of the European Council in regard to his proposal for increased EU involvement in the Cyprus issue.
During a visit to Limassol General Hospital on Tuesday, President Christodoulides was asked about his recent conversation with Charles Michel.
President Christodoulides said the President of the European Council sees the further involvement of the EU in efforts to resolve the issue positively.
However, he said it was not right to speak on Michel's behalf but based on their discussion, the latter sees further EU involvement to break the current deadlock and restart negotiations positively.
He said they agreed for him to travel to Brussels a day earlier before the European Council, on 23 March, to discuss the issue with Michel and “more specifically our approach”. He also said he will discuss this with the President of the European Commission and the European Parliament President.
Therefore, “there will be a specific discussion, we have some ideas” adding he had the chance to discuss them and give examples as to how the EU can help break the deadlock.
President Christodoulides said he knows the Cyprus problem well and “things are not easy, certainly they are difficult". However, he added, we cannot stop efforts or hide behind Turkish intransigence.
Asked if optimism is allowed, the President replied “what is allowed is to fight, an effort to build optimism.”
Replying to a question as to whether he will propose names to Michel, the President said: "Yes, I have specific names in mind, some of which I have discussed with him, and if I see the political will, I will refer to particular names."
Responding to a related question, he said that these individuals come from EU member states, and when asked to clarify, he replied "they are political personalities from the European arena.”
Regarding the visit of the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, the President of the Republic said that he looks forward to meeting with her, adding that "I consider it positive that she is coming to Cyprus, especially before the European Council.”
He also emphasized that "our efforts within the EU always take place within the framework of the UN, and I want to make this clear so that there is no doubt about this particular issue.”
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island’s northern third. Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.