Cyprus’ reunification will be “a message of good hope” says EPP Vice President

A reunified Cyprus will be a message of good hope in these challenging times, said EPP Vice President David MacAllister, who is also the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament.

MacAllister, who is paying a visit to Cyprus, met here this afternoon with Averof Neophytou, the President of the Democratic Rally party.

“I am here to listen and to learn,” said the German MEP in statements after the meeting.

He added that both Germany and Brussels follow the new process for a possible reunification of Cyprus with great interest. Germany knows what it means to bring a country together, he said. He also noted that challenges are enormous and wished Cypriots success.

Commenting on the constitutional referendum in Turkey, to be held this Sunday, MacAllister said the two possible outcomes will have an impact on ongoing negotiations in Cyprus.

Neophytou said on his part that they discussed with the EPP and EP official the course of reunification talks, the future of Europe and developments in Turkey.

Speaking about settlement talks, which resumed on Tuesday after a two-month intermission, Neophytou noted that “in no case will we accept the presence of occupation troops and foreign guarantors in a reunified Cyprus”.

He assured finally that the Greek Cypriot side will do everything possible for a fair settlement, in the framework of a bizonal bicommunal federation.

MacAllister will also meet with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides while in Cyprus.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-backed talks aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.

The President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met on Tuesday, after a nearly two-month break. Akinci walked out of the talks back in February, claiming that a House decision to commemorate, briefly, in school a 1950 referendum advocating union with Greece was in fact a shift in the long standing position of the Greek Cypriot side for a bicommunal, bizonal federal solution in Cyprus.

President Anastasiades had described the decision “wrong”, saying the timing was not right. Akinci said he would not return to the negotiations unless the decision was revoked. The House voted last Friday on an amendment on the bill, which essentially annuls the earlier House decision.

Source: Cyprus News Agency