The President of the Republic, Mr. Nikos Christodoulidis, participated today in a teleconference convened by the President of the European Council, Mr. Charles Michel, with a group of heads of state and government of EU member states.
The teleconference, which is the first of its kind in which President Christodoulidis participates after assuming his duties as President of the Republic, is part of the preparation for the upcoming European Council Meeting, on March 23 and 24, in Brussels.
During the teleconference, in which the President of Bulgaria and the Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, Finland, Luxembourg and Estonia also took part, issues related to the agenda of the upcoming European Council were discussed, such as, among others, the Ukrainian, the Energy, Immigration, the Economy, and the lunch of the members of the European Council with the Secretary General of the UN.
During the teleconference, President Christodoulidis noted his adherence to the principles and values of the European edifice, adding that he looks forward to his upcoming meeting with President Michel and the Presidents of the other European institutions.
Referring to the meeting with the UN Secretary General, the President of the Republic underlined that he and the Cypriot Government are staunch supporters of EU-UN cooperation, including cooperation on the Cyprus problem.
He also added that the lunch with the UN Secretary-General will be a good opportunity to reaffirm our support for international legitimacy, especially in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The President of the Republic reiterated our country's unwavering support to Ukraine for as long as necessary, stressing that Cyprus, as a country that is itself experiencing the invasion and ongoing occupation, strongly supports the need to respect international legality. For this matter, the President of the Republic requested that there be a strict reference to the Council's Conclusions on sanctions, especially with their circumvention by third countries, as well as taking measures to deal with this phenomenon.
Regarding Competitiveness, Single Market and Economy, the President of the Republic stated that we all agree on debt reduction in the medium term through an approach that will take into account the particularities of each member state and effective transparency and cooperation between member states.
On the subject of Energy, the President of the Republic welcomed the Commission's proposal to reform the electricity market. He also emphasized the need, especially for a country like ours located on the periphery of Europe, to speed up and complete energy interconnections.
Regarding Immigration, the President of the Republic pointed out the huge problem facing the Republic of Cyprus, with a percentage of around 6% of its population consisting of asylum seekers, while he also highlighted the flows of irregular immigrants who reach the free areas through occupied areas.
Finally, it was agreed that the President of the Republic should inform the European Council of his proposal for a more active involvement of the European Union in the effort to end the deadlock and the immediate resumption of negotiations to resolve the Cyprus issue within the agreed framework and in accordance with the UN resolutions.