EU does not accept troops, guarantees, intervention rights in Cyprus solution MEP tells CNA [VIDEO]

The government of Cyprus enjoys the full and unreserved support of all European bodies and political groups on the Cyprus problem, Cypriot MEP Lefteris Christoforou tells CNA, noting that during a meeting he had with European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans he was clear that the EU cannot accept troops, guarantees or intervention rights of a foreign country in an EU member state as part of a solution.

In an interview with CNA Christoforou stresses that it has to be understood that discussions and decisions taken at EU level concern each and every one of us.

They affect our daily lives, he says, adding that everyone should be aware that the large majority of legislation or policies implemented in Cyprus are in essence a result of decisions taken at European Parliament, European Commission and European Council level.

I therefore believe that apart from developments in Cyprus the spotlight should be turned towards the EU as well, he points out.

At the same time the Cypriot MEP expresses the view that the idea that small countries cannot have a strong position in the EU is by and large wrong.

When you are truly there, when you do not leave an empty chair, when you fight your battles, you make friends, connections, you earn credibility with your positions, you make contacts, earn the trust of others, then even small Cyprus can achieve more sometimes than others, he notes.

Replying to a question on the challenges he sees ahead for Cyprus in the EU he refers to the Cyprus problem.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated UN-led negotiations have not yet yielded any results to reunite the country under a federal roof. The latest such effort, in July last year, ended inconclusively.

Referring to a conversation he had after the recent presidential elections in Cyprus with European Commissioner President Jean � Claude Juncker he says, he told me that the EU and the European Commission remain committed to support and help the Cyprus President, whom they trust to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem, provided of course, that Turkey’s intransigence eases.

Christoforou also refers to a meeting he had with EU Commissioner Timmermans, who was also present at the Swiss resort Crans-Montana last summer during the Conference on Cyprus, pointing out that he was clear that the EU cannot accept troops, guarantees and interventions rights from a foreign country in an EU member state.

We have the full and unreserved support not only of European bodies, but I believe of all political groups irrespective of parties or ideology and this is what is important, he stresses.

They support our government; they support the President of the Republic to fight in order to resolve our national problem, he adds.

The Cypriot MEP also refers to energy matters, noting that in his capacity as a member of the European Parliament Energy Committee he sees that Cyprus is now considered as an alternative on matters which have to do with EU energy resources.

On the part of the EU there is a strong feeling that they need to stop being dependent on the monopoly of Russian natural gas and they see Cyprus as a good way out, he adds.

Christoforou also speaks of an ongoing discussion in the European Parliament on the taxation policy followed by different countries.

We have truly fought battles in the European Parliament in our effort to persuade that it is every country’s sovereign right to manage its own taxation and all matters to do with its companies and that there should be no interventions or efforts for centralisation on the part of the EU, he says.

He estimates that we are putting forward the right arguments and we will be able to prevent those who in essence want to stop countries such as Cyprus to act as financial centres or as centres attracting foreign investments.

Asked where he will focus during the remainder of his term in office as an MEP he points out that his role first and foremost is to defend the interests of his country.

Christoforou who takes part in the European Parliament’s Budget Committee and the Energy Committee as well as the Committee on the Panama Papers says he is proud to be a member of those committees.

He also speaks, among others, of the support he has received on all matters which have to do with Cyprus from EPP, the political group he belongs to in the European Parliament.

Replying to a question as to whether he is going to be a candidate again in the European Elections of 2019 he does not hesitate to say yes.

I consider it a duty towards my country, the people of DISY and EPP the trust of which I enjoy as the only MEP from Cyprus who is a member of the political group, adding that he feels there should be some continuity and that he could assist other colleagues who likely will be elected for the first time.

Source: Cyprus News Agency