House President wraps up first day of contacts with EU officials in Brussels

President of the House of Representatives Demetris Syllouris has held a series of meetings with EU officials during the first day of a three-day working visit in Brussels.

Syllouris mety with the European Commissioner responsible for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Demetris Avramopoulos, the President of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats Gianni Pitella, the President of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group Nigel Farage and Co-chair of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament Syed Kamall.

In statements following his meeting with the House President, European Commissioner Avramopoulos said that they had the chance to talk about various issues focusing on those relating to his portfolio namely immigration, refugee and security issues while they also had a general discussion about the future of Europe.

He also said that they discussed the Cyprus issue and the situation following the collapse of the peace talks in Crans-Montana while referring to a particularly complicated moment.

Avramopoulos expressed the wish that the Cyprus talks would continue with the aim to create the necessary security conditions for the island and to strengthen social cohesion and unity among the two communities.

He noted that Europe is on the side of Cyprus noting that the Republic of Cyprus is the cornerstone of Europe in a particularly sensitive geopolitical zone on the southeastern border of the European Union.

On his part Syllouris thanked Avramopoulos for his briefing on immigration and security issues, saying that he holds a key position in Europe and the world.

He said that they discussed Europes future and the need for Europe to stand on its feet and guide the whole world at a time of direct and indirect as well symmetric and asymmetric threats.

He expressed the view that it is time to act in a European manner and to make Europe what it should be namely a hope for the world, he noted.

The President of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats Gianni Pitella expressed the commitment of his group for the resumption of the Cyprus peace talks with a view to reaching an international agreement to reunite “this important country”, he said.

He stressed that this agreement should respect the principle that an EU Member State can not be placed under the guarantee of a third country. “This is our conviction and our awareness and we will fight to reunite the country respecting this principle,” he underlined.

Syllouris thanked Pitella for his principles and support for Cyprus, noting that they had a very interesting meeting during which they discussed issues of immigration and unemployment among young people in Europe.

The President of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group Nigel Farage talked about the historical ties between the two countries adding there is a British community living in Cyprus while a big Cypriot community in London.

He said that he explained to Syllouris his view that this Europe is the wrong Europe and is not going to work adding that the Eurozone and the migrant crisis is tearing Europe apart.

He went on to say that Europe does have a future not as a union but as a cooperative set of nations states. He also said they discussed about the commonwealth which is a fascinating structure adding that the countries all over the world now want to join and we are very optimistic about that.

He noted that when Cyprus joined the European union there was a feeling that perhaps this was the way to moderate Turkish behaviour and Turkish behaviour has not moderated, expressing certainty that Turkey will not be joining the Europe Union because under its current leader, public opinion in Europe has turned against it.

Co-chair of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament Syed Kamall said that with Syllouris they discussed the implications of the UKs exit from the EU and some of the other issues that the Union is currently facing.

He also said they discussed the Cypriot problem and concerns about the need to resume talks as well as some geopolitical issues that concern the wider region of Cyprus.

The House Speaker expressed the certainty that cooperation between Cyprus and the United Kingdom will continue regardless of Brexit.

Source: Cyprus News Agency