EP behind Cyprus’ efforts for reunification Tajani tells the House plenary

President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani said on Friday that the European Parliament is right behind Cyprus in its efforts to achieve an agreement for its reunification on the basis of UN resolutions and EU principles.

Addressing the House plenary in Nicosia, during an extraordinary session held in the presence of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Tajani also noted that EU citizens must be close to Brussels, noting that his aim is to minimize the distance between EU institutions and the citizens.

Speaking through an interpreter, Tajani said that he very much believes in the role of the EP and the national parliaments as well as to the pivotal role which Europe can play in Africa and the Middle East, with the contribution of Mediterranean countries as Cyprus.

He said that Europe is coming out of a difficult economic crisis and that the situation is now improving. He expressed satisfaction over the reduction of unemployment, noting that Cyprus has achieved a lot in this respect.

At the same time he said that “we must work with a view to achieve the political goal of growth and unemployment reduction.”

Referring to terrorism and illegal migration, Tajani said that prospects need to be created. He said that illegal migration must be prevented and that we must seek the required solutions to address problems in the Middle East and Africa.

He said that they are working on a strategy on the basis of which Europe will play a peace-making role, adding that Cyprus can play its own role and that he discussed this issue with President Anastasiades, during their talks earlier today.

Tajani said that decisions in Europe must not be taken by bureaucrats, and that the representatives of the people must be the ones to exercise power.

He also referred to the letter he sent to Mario Draghi on the Non Performing Loans, noting that it is not up to the European Central Bank to decide on the regulations for all of Europes Central Banks.

Furthermore, he expressed satisfaction over the agreement on Brexit.

Tajani also invited President Anastasiades to address the European Parliament along with other heads of state and government.

On his part House President Demetris Syllouris asked for the EP to confirm that Cypriot citizens are not second-class citizens, in the framework of the big European family.

He said that Cyprus has always pursued its accession to the EU and supported Ankaras EU accession course both with a view to enhance democracy in Turkey and to put pressure in order to change Ankaras intransigent stance on the Cyprus problem.

Syllouris noted that 13 years after Cyprus accession to the Union, the situation as regards the rule of law in Turkey, Ankaras positions in the negotiations on the Cyprus problem and its stance as regards its commitments in the framework of the negotiating framework, question this strategy.

“We are counting on the European Parliament to confirm that Cypriot citizens are not second-class citizens in the framework of he big European family,” Syllouris noted, expressing certainty that the European Parliament will do so.

Furthermore he noted that “we are pursuing a more active involvement of the EU to the process for a Cyprus settlement,” and stressed that it is both to Cyprus and the EU interest that Cyprus ramains a free modern state, fully aligned with the EU law, values and principles, that will offer prospects of peaceful coexistence and welfare for all of its citizens.

As regards the Future of Europe, Syllouris said that the Cypriot parliament is actively participating in the discussion for the White Paper.

He expressed hope that the conclusion of this discussion will make it possible to jointly address major issues which the member states face.

Source: Cyprus News Agency