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President exchanged views with EU leaders about bringing ‘big names’ to Cyprus talks

President of the Republic Nikos Christodoulides has exchanged views with other EU leaders on specific European personalities that could contribute to breaking the deadlock of the Cyprus issue.

In an interview with DW in Berlin on the morning of 25 May morning before meeting with the German Chancellor, President Christodoulides spoke about his proposal for a European role in the Cyprus issue.

Asked about the European personality and if it could be former Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Christodoulides said that he has exchanged views on specific names with the French President, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands and with some officials of the European Commission - politicians, not technocrats - and that he will also discuss this with the German Chancellor.

He said that former Chancellor Merkel could of course be a personality who can contribute to the effort, but noted that it remains to be seen whether she wishes this role or whether she will be the choice of the European Union.

It should be a political figure who will be able to speak directly with the Turkish President and this is the main issue, the President of the Republic underlined.

Among other things, he said that at the moment we are one step behind the negotiations, there is an impasse and this is where the European Union, the European personality should work, to break the impasse without replacing in any way the role of the UN. This personality, he added, can talk to Turkey, to the interested parties, expressing a readiness for a positive agenda in the EU - Turkey relations, adding that this is important for whoever is elected as Turkish President. Christodoulides said that the Republic of Cyprus is ready to discuss these issues, once Cyprus talks resume.

Furthermore, he pointed out that recently the German Chancellor in a speech to the European Parliament referred to today's changing environment and stressed the need for a strong European Union. The President stated that he embraces this position and said that the Republic of Cyprus is one of those member states that are working towards this idea of a stronger EU.

He referred to the example of Ukraine and said that beyond Ukraine there is also the region of the wider Eastern Mediterranean, which is the geographical region of the Republic of Cyprus.

We must, he continued, bring Turkey closer to the European Union and this passes through the solution of the Cyprus problem, stressing that Cyprus is a member state of the European Union and will continue to be one even after the solution of the Cyprus problem.

He underlined that he is referring to a solution within the framework of the United Nations and that any negotiations will be under the auspices of the UN. The European Union, he said, especially at present and taking into account what the Chancellor said about the need for a stronger Europe, is the one that has the tools that can break the deadlock.

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.

(Source: CNA)

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