On Wednesday, the President of the House of Representatives Annita Demetriou had a series of contacts in Zagreb, during the First Parliamentary Summit of the International Platform for Crimea. Among other issues, she discussed with her interlocutors the Cyprus problem, interparliamentary relations and Nicosia’s support to Ukraine.
According to a statement of the House, on the sidelines of the Summit, the President of the Parliament had separate meetings with the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Tiny Kox, the Speaker of the Parliament of Sweden Andreas Norlen and the Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine Ruslan Stefanchuk.
The meetings stressed the importance of the First Parliamentary Summit, during which the Presidents of the participating parliaments reaffirmed their full solidarity with Ukraine and laid the foundations for the creation of a framework for parliamentary action in support of the suffering Ukrainian people on the basis of the principles of international law.
According to the statement, the President of the Parliament expressed sincere thanks for the principled stance of the PACE President on the Cyprus problem and the efforts to resolve it on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, while underlining the vital importance for Cyprus, but also for the credibility of the Council of Europe, of the observance of the principles of the Organization by all its member states.
Demetriou also stressed that the Turkish side’s claim for a “two-state” solution cannot and will never be accepted because it would legitimize the Turkish invasion and occupation, while she expressed disappointment at the recent decision of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers to end the supervision of the execution of the case of Titina Loizidou against Turkey, which, as she underlined, is a negative development but also a negative precedent, as human rights violations, including property rights of displaced persons, cannot be considered to be time-barred with the passage of time.
The President of the House further requested the contribution of the PACE President to ensure that Turkey ends its illegal actions and cooperates on the basis of these principles to solve the Cyprus problem, also for the benefit of Turkey and the entire region.
For his part, Kox underlined the Assembly’s readiness to provide all possible support in this direction, with Demetriou extending an invitation to Kox to pay an official visit to Cyprus, which was accepted.
During the meeting with the Speaker of the Swedish Parliament, it is added, Demetriou expressed sincere appreciation for Sweden’s firm principled position on the Cyprus problem, which she said was reflected in the country’s long-standing participation in the United Nations peacekeeping force in Cyprus and its contribution to the work of the Committee on Missing Persons.
A common will was also expressed to further strengthen relations and cooperation between the two countries’ Parliaments in areas of common interest, including increasing exchanges at various levels, while particular emphasis was placed on gender equality and women’s empowerment issues, with Demetriou stressing that through the exchange of expertise and best practices a strong message is given that these issues must remain high on the political agenda, especially in a period of war, when women and children are the first victims and the need to enhance representation of women in decision-making centres arises.
It is also noted that during the meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine Ruslan Stefanchuk, the President of the Parliament reaffirmed the full solidarity and support of Cyprus and its Parliament to Ukraine and its “heroic people.”
The Republic of Cyprus, Demetriou stressed, did not hesitate to condemn from the very first moment the Russian invasion, on the basis of the same principles, which have been blatantly violated by Turkey in Cyprus since 1974, as a result of the Turkish invasion and continued occupation, and stressed that both countries are fighting for international law, freedom and democracy and this is the clear message against any brutal attack against sovereign states and universal principles.
Cyprus fully aligned itself with the restrictive measures imposed by the EU against Russia, despite the admittedly significant costs for the country and supported the granting of candidate status to Ukraine, Demetriou noted and assured of the readiness of the Republic of Cyprus and its Parliament to offer all possible assistance in this context.
Stefanchuk expressed sincere thanks for Cyprus’ firm principled stance and direct support to his country and the adoption by the House of Representatives of a unanimous Resolution of condemnation on the day the Russian invasion began. Stefanchuk also expressed deep gratitude for the significant humanitarian assistance provided by Cyprus to the Ukrainian people, as well as for hosting Ukrainians fleeing the war. Stefanchuk renewed his invitation to Demetriou to pay an official visit to Kiev.
The President of the Parliament finally stressed the importance of maintaining unity and solidarity as the most important guarantee to face this unprecedented challenge and thanked the Ukrainian and Croatian Parliaments for this initiative and for the strong message of unity it conveys.
Source: Cyprus News Agency