Southern EU countries express support to the reunification of Cyprus without guarantees

The Heads of State or Government of the Southern European Union countries, namely Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain, have reiterated their support to the process for the reunification of Cyprus, without guarantees, in line with UN Security Council resolutoins and the EU acquis.

In a Joint Declaration, the Madrid Declaration, issued in the framework of their Summit that took place at the Spanish capital, on Monday, the Heads of the seven countries also recalled that “the Republic of Cyprus is and will remain a member of our Union after the settlement, and that EU membership is the best safeguard for a reunified Cyprus.” The next Summit of the Southern European Union countries will take place in Cyprus in autumn 2017.

“We closely follow and we reiterate our support to the process for the reunification of Cyprus, without guarantees, in line with UNSC Resolutions and the EU acquis. We recall that the Republic of Cyprus is and will remain a member of our Union after the settlement, and that EU membership is the best safeguard for a reunified Cyprus,” the Madrid Declaration said.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci got engaged in UN-led talks since May 2015, with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

The UN have announced that talks for a Cyprus solution will resume on April 11 after a lull since mid February, when Akinci walked out of a meeting, claiming that a House decision to commemorate, briefly, in school a 1950 referendum advocating union with Greece was in fact a shift in the long standing position of the Greek Cypriot side for a bicommunal, bizonal federal solution in Cyprus.

President Anastasiades had described the decision “wrong”, saying the timing was not right. Akinci said he would not return to the negotiations unless the decision was revoked. The House voted last Friday on an amendment on the bill, which essentially annuls the earlier House decision.

Source: Cyprus News Agency