The Cyprus issue and bilateral relations following the Brexit vote were the topics on the agenda of the talks that the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades had with Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street on Tuesday afternoon.
In their first meeting since Theresa May became Prime Minister, President Anastasiades updated her on the latest developments regarding the ongoing negotiations for a settlement to the Cyprus issue.
Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides told reporters following the meeting that the two leaders mainly discussed three aspects of the issue: “Firstly, issues relating to the evolution of the Republic of Cyprus and secondly matters regarding security and guarantees. There was a detailed presentation by the President of the Republic of the offer he has submitted during the negotiations. There was also an extensive discussion of matters relating to territory and property issues and how these two chapters are linked.”
Asked about the British Prime Minister’s response, Christodoulides noted that she was fully informed of the developments and that she also reiterated the UK Government’s position that it does not pursue a guarantor power role in a federal Republic of Cyprus.
“I have to say that PM May is very well informed about developments in the Cyprus issue but also about the current situation at the negotiating table. She has discussed the Cyprus issue with the Turkish President in a recent meeting. She conveyed Britain’s readiness to help either through the framework of the Security Council or otherwise, given the role that the UK traditionally plays with regard to the Cyprus issue. It is important that she repeated the known position of the UK concerning the guarantees, that is that London does not pursue any guarantor power role, but it is ready to play any role that both communities request,” said the Cypriot Government Spokesman.
On Brexit and the new picture that it creates as far as bilateral relations are concerned, Christodoulides said that the two leaders discussed the need to not only safeguard but further enhance them.
“In his framework they also discussed the negotiations between Brussels and London expected to begin once the UK Government decides to activate Article 50, as well as the need to achieve a smooth transition to the new status quo,” Christodoulides added.
The Spokesman referred to a constructive discussion and exchange of views.
The British Prime Minister wished President Anastasiades “happy birthday” on the occasion of his 70th birthday, and she also noted that the bonds between the two countries have developed well and that there is a lot to build on
The UK High Commission in Nicosia released the following statement in relation to the meeting:
“Prime Minister Theresa May was delighted to host Cypriot President Anastasiades at No. 10 today, their first substantive meeting since Mrs. May took office in July 2016. Prime Minister May and President Anastasiades discussed the excellent progress in the UK-Cyprus bilateral relationship, the UK’s preparations for Brexit, and next steps in the negotiations on settlement of the Cyprus issue.
The Prime Minister welcomed the joint meeting of President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı with UN Secretary-General Ban in New York on 25 September and the stage they have now reached in their negotiations to find a lasting solution to the Cyprus issue.
The weeks ahead will be pivotal in seeing whether the leaders can bridge the gaps that still remain on several important chapters of the negotiations. The Prime Minister reiterated that the UK stands ready to help the two sides in their efforts to secure an historic agreement to reunite Cyprus. Prime Minister May and President Anastasiades discussed ways in which the UK might usefully do this.
As President Anastasiades said in his address to the UN General Assembly on 22 September, the current negotiations present a “window of opportunity” for all Cypriots. The UK Government believes the right solution to the Cyprus issue will bring clear economic and security benefits for Cyprus, for Cypriots and for the region.
The Prime Minister renewed the UK’s strong support to both leaders as they embark on the next stage of the process and expressed the hope that they would be able to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion within the period they have set themselves.”
The Prime Minister thanked the President for his kind invitation to visit Cyprus and said that she hoped to have the opportunity to do so in the future.