President expresses Cyprus’ concern over Turkey’s effort to penetrate into the Western Balkans

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has expressed the Republic of Cyprus concern over the efforts made by Turkey to penetrate into the Western Balkas, during his intervention at the EU-Western Balkan Summit in Sofia, Bulgaria, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou has said. The President made clear that the EU has an intense interest in continuing and intensifying its presence in the region.

In statements to the press, the Government Spokesman said that during his intervention Anastasiades stressed the historic and cultural ties which have always connected the Western Balkans region with the rest of Europe, underlining that it is particularly important to boost these ties, connectivity of the EU with this region, and EU-Western Balkans relations in the fields of transport, communication, digital technology, the society, education, culture etc.

Furthermore he said that Europe counts on this region, noting that countries of the Western Balkans which fulfill the criteria will become candidate states and then begin negotiations for accession to the EU.

Prodromou also noted that Anastasiades underlined the strategic importance which security of this region has for Europe, since five EU member states have common borders with the Western Balkans and that the EU must focus its attention on the fact that third countries are trying to penetrate into the Western Balkans.

According to Prodromou, President Anastasiades referred to Turkeys intense activities in this region and noted the Republic of Cyprus sensitivity on this issue, adding that the EU has a multiple interest in continuing to upgrade and boost its relation with the Western Balkans.

Prodromou said that Anastasiades had, on the sidelines of the Summit, meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron, with whom he discussed the upgrading of Cyprus bilateral relations with France and the two countries cooperation in various field. The President also met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel with whom he discussed bilateral issues and issues related to developments in the EU, as well as issues concerning Cyprus. Anastasiades met with other leaders as well.

Furthermore he had meetings with the President of the European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer and the Prseident of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Suma Chakrabarti concerning the presence of the two banks in Cyprus.

Source: Cyprus News Agency