Anastasiades and Cameron discuss Cyprus talks, EU reform, refugee crisis and energy issues

Anastasiades and Cameron discuss Cyprus talks, EU reform, refugee crisis and energy issues

The developments regarding the Cyprus issue settlement talks, the current refugee crisis engulfing Europe, Britain’s aim to reform the EU and energy matters were discussed during President Nicos Anastasiades’s meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron in London on Friday afternoon.

The Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides, who is accompanying the President, said that it had been “a very constructive meeting” which gave the opportunity to the two leaders to discuss several issues of common concern.

President Anastasiades briefed his host about the latest and the forthcoming developments in the settlement process, touching upon specific chapters of the bicommunal talks. He also highlighted the need for Turkey to send specific signals, through specific actions, that would enhance the ongoing settlement process.

Christodoulides said after the meeting that the UK position regarding the guarantor countries is that “it does not wish for their role to continue”, and that it is a matter for the Cypriots to decide.

Welcoming the Cypriot President in Downing Street, Cameron commended him “for the really strong leadership” he has been providing to bring a solution to the Cyprus issue. “I know how much effort you are putting into this, how much work you are giving, how much leadership you are providing. We would encourage you to do everything you can. I think it is a real opportunity when there are so many unsolved problems in the world. If we can demonstrate that dialogue and good faith and good discussion can reach an agreement, that would be a great thing for Europe, a great thing for Cyprus and a great thing for the world. So I want to encourage you to do everything you can. We, as one of your oldest and best friends, stand ready to help,” said the British Prime Minister.

President Anastasiades responded by referring to the two countries’ common vision to see peace, as the solution of the longstanding Cyprus issue would be to the best interest of everyone concerned. He commented that the island would be a model of how co-existence could be between Muslims and Christians.

The two leaders also discussed the UK’s drive to achieve reforms in the EU ahead of the referendum of the country’s future in Europe. According to Mr Christodoulides, there was some “common approach” on some points. CNA sources say that the two sides agree mostly on issues concerning taxation and competitiveness within the single market. A more analytical discussion on the matter is expected at December’s European Council, added the Government Spokesman.

There was particular reference to the waves of refugees coming to Europe. “The President of the Republic’s position, but also the British Prime Minister’s position,” said Christodoulides, “is that we need to deal with the causes of these people’s flight from their countries.”

On energy, Anastasiades and Cameron focused on the recent findings in Egypt’s Exclusive Economic Zone and how regional synergies could turn the eastern Mediterranean into an alternative energy route that would enhance Europe’s energy security.

The bilateral issues discussed focused on economic ties, with President Anastasiades referring to the Cypriot economy’s progress, and security issues, especially the need to deal with the threat posed by ISIS and the role Cyprus can play in this respect.

The President of the Republic of Cyprus will attend a working dinner on Friday evening in north London, organised by the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK and on Saturday morning he will depart for New York to participate in the General Assembly of the United Nations.