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The assurance that the Republic of Cyprus can rely on the undivided support of France in what concerns the national problem, was expressed today by the President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron, highlighting the commitment and will of the President of Cyprus, Mr. Nikos Christodoulidis, in the efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
The President of the Republic of Cyprus, who is in Paris, had a meeting today at noon with the President of France, at the Presidential Palace (Elysee), where upon his arrival he received a warm and cordial welcome from President Macron, while a military commander paid his respects.
Immediately after the reception, the two Presidents made statements to the media.
President of France, Macron, speaking through an interpreter, said:
“Mr President, dear Nico, thank you for coming to Paris today. It is with great pleasure that I welcome you on your first visit to France after your success in the elections for which I congratulate you.
This working lunch will be an opportunity to work on various issues, European, bilateral and international, that will concern us for the coming months. Of course we will look at the situation in Ukraine, we share the same commitment as Europe for this support for the Ukrainians to improve their economic situation, for the general situation, of course. We are unanimously against this war that Russia started and continues to rage.
I am very happy about our joint determination against the circumvention of all sanctions imposed on Russia and with all European and international partners we will work from now on to rebuild Ukraine.
We will be together on the 1st of June in Chisinau, Moldova where the European family will meet in the context of the European Political Community Summit.
As during the first Summit last year in October, we will again have the opportunity to reaffirm our ambition for the stability of our European continent and to continue the effort to protect both in cyberspace and for our critical infrastructures.
Regarding the preparation of this Summit in Moldova it will be an opportunity to work on our big European stakes. Of course, we will pay attention to European infrastructure, in the field of Energy, Defense, Security and of course, after what was said in the previous Council, we will continue to work on all these issues. We will also continue to negotiate common solutions in Brussels on the Russia issue and I am fully aware of what this issue means for Cyprus.
We recently had the activation of this common mechanism of solidarity and in this spirit of appreciation and solidarity we will continue to act.
In addition to these, we will also discuss the regional situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and in particular the Cyprus issue. I know, dear Nico, your commitment to this cause, your will to find a sustainable solution and you can count on France’s undivided support on this issue both diplomatically and militarily, as always in the past when we had threats of escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean in military contexts.
Of course, let’s deepen our cooperation in educational, economic and defense matters. I am very happy about the excellent partnership we have and I believe we will be able to maintain this level of ambition.
I believe that we will manage to consolidate these excellent ties between us and continue like this for the future.”
For his part, Cypriot President Christodoulidis stated the following:
“I especially thank my friend President Emmanuel for the invitation to visit France. This is essentially my first visit to an EU member state after Athens and this in itself is proof of the excellent relations between the two countries, but also of the strategic importance of our bilateral relations.
I am sure that we will have a very productive discussion, a very meaningful discussion in which we will reaffirm our excellent cooperation, both bilaterally and multilaterally, including of course our common European family.
We will see today how we can further strengthen our bilateral cooperation, especially in areas such as energy, defense and security. Within the EU, France and Cyprus strongly support the further integration and strategic autonomy of the EU at all levels, and I believe that strengthening our relations on the issues I mentioned above serves precisely the EU’s goals as well.
We will also discuss how we can break the deadlock in the Cyprus issue and we believe that the EU should play a more leading role. We believe that the EU has those tools, the incentives, to lead us to a mutually beneficial state of affairs. And we are particularly invested in you, Mr. President, and in France, which is the only EU member state that is also a Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council, with particular sensitivities in the Eastern Mediterranean, and we look forward to your strong support, so so that we can break the impasse and resume the talks from where they left off.
We will certainly discuss Ukraine. The EU, France, Cyprus are on the right side of history, there can be no different positions except to strongly support the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine and we will continue to act and approach the issue in this frame.
We will also discuss the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and the wider Middle East, where we have identical views and approaches and I believe that we should move through a common strategy.
In this context and the issue of immigration. The Republic of Cyprus continues to be the EU member state with the largest number of immigrants in proportion to population and we should, in a problem that is European and we need to find European solutions, strike a fair balance between responsibility and practical solidarity.
I want to thank the French President for the fact that during the French Presidency of the Council of the EU, about a year ago, important steps were taken on the issue of immigration.
Finally, for the second Summit of the European Political Community, which will be held in Moldova on June 1st, I will be there and I would like to congratulate you because it is, Mr. President, an initiative of yours that comes to face the many challenges we have today as the European continent.
Thank you again, Mr. President, dear Emanuel, for the invitation and I look forward to our discussion.”
Afterwards, the President of the Republic and the President of France, as well as the members of their delegations, attended a working lunch and then a private meeting was held between the two Presidents.