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President Christodoulides in Strasbourg to address PACE plenary

President of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides is scheduled to address the plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg on 23 January.

According to a Presidency press release, President Christodoulides will also engage in discussions with officials from the Council of Europe (CoE) during the course of his visit.

On the morning of January 23, he will participate in a working breakfast with Cypriot Members of Parliament attending the works of PACE. Following this, he will proceed to the CoE building to sign the visitors' book.

Private meetings will follow once the electoral procedures for the new leadership of the Assembly conclude. President Christodoulides is expected to meet with both outgoing and incoming Presidents of PACE, as well as the Secretary-General of the CoE and the new Secretary-General of PACE.

Subsequently, the President will attend a luncheon hosted in his honour by the newly elected President of PACE.

Later in the day, at 15:30 (Cyprus local time), President Christodoulides will address the Plenary Session of PACE, followed by questions from parliamentary representatives of various political groups.

In his speech, President Christodoulides is anticipated to touch upon the current phase of the Cyprus issue, the recent efforts following the appointment of the UN Secretary-General's personal envoy, and the role of the international community in the resolution efforts. He will also refer to regional developments and point out the significant role of the Council of Europe in safeguarding human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.

Later in the evening, President Christodoulides will visit the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), where he will meet with the President of the Court, Síofra O'Leary.

The day will conclude with the President attending a reception hosted by the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Cyprus in Strasbourg.

President Christodoulides will return to Cyprus on 24 January.

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.

Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres appointed María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar of Colombia as his personal envoy for Cyprus, to assume a Good Offices role on his behalf and search for common ground on the way forward in the Cyprus issue. 

(Source: CNA)

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