House President concludes first day of official meetings in London

President of the House of Representatives Demetris Syllouris held a series of meetings with political and other officials in London on Monday, the first day of official engagements.

The focus of the talks he held was on Brexit, as well as bilateral relations between Cyprus and the UK, the Commonwealth, the Cyprus issue and the diaspora.

The day began with a meeting at the Cabinet Office with Damian Green, the UK First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office.

We discussed on three basic axes: the bilateral relationship, Commonwealth issues and how Cyprus could have an enhanced role following Brexit, as well as the relations of the UK after Brexit and our relation to the UK, Syllouris said, referring to the talks with Green.

I have been assured that the issues concerning the Cypriots in the UK will be resolved and that they will not be affected (by Brexit). We also discussed issues relating to the British citizens living in Cyprus, he added.

The House President also said that he received an update from Green, effectively the Deputy Prime Minister, on the pending issues of the negotiations between London and Brussels regarding Brexit. Green expressed his hope that an agreement on the remaining issues could be reached within the next days.

As far as the Cyprus issue is concerned, Syllouris noted, I stressed that the biggest help the UK could offer would be to support the position that there is no requirement for guarantees and that not a single troop can remain in Cyprus; that the content of the settlement is what can secure its viability.

In terms of the Commonwealth, the President of the House of Representatives highlighted the leading role that Cyprus has been playing in intensifying the discussion over the relationship with the EU, especially after Brexit.

The same issues were covered during the meeting that Syllouris had with Chairman of the Exiting the European Union Parliamentary Committee, Hilary Benn.

Between the two meetings, Syllouris was received by Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain Gregorios, with whom they touched upon the role of the Church and the diaspora. They also noted the help that the Church could offer to Cypriots in the UK with regard to Brexit requirements, if needed.

Monday’s engagements concluded with a more detailed discussion on the role of Cyprus within the Commonwealth with the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Akhbar Khan, and a meeting with the International Maritime Organisation Secretary-General, Kitack Lim, only days after Cyprus’s re-election in the Organisation’s Council.

On Tuesday, the President of the House of Representatives will hold meetings with officials from the Commonwealth, British parliamentarians and the organised diaspora.

Source: Cyprus News Agency