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EuropePresident Christodoulides: “no border changes will stem from violence and war”

President Christodoulides: “no border changes will stem from violence and war”

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As part of the ‘This is Europe’ debate series, President Christodoulides called for a united Europe capable of changing to secure its place in tomorrow’s world. “I am strongly convinced that the EU must be strategically autonomous, in areas such as security, energy, health”, he highlighted, to ensure it can face challenges effectively, thereby becoming a more valuable and an equal partner and ally.

Ukraine

Mr Christodoulides stressed that the EU needs to continue supporting Ukraine. It is a matter of principle “to ensure that the law of the jungle will not prevail”, he said, referring also to the almost half-a-century-long occupation of part of Cyprus by Türkiye. The high cost of the decisions to address the Russian aggression is worth shouldering, as peace in Europe has to be defended, he argued.

Eastern Mediterranean, Southern Neighbourhood, and migration

Cyprus, with its gas reserves and excellent relations with almost all its neighbours in the Eastern Mediterranean, can play a significant role in the energy crisis and the green transition by providing gas and hydrogen, he said. Electricity connections with Israel and Egypt currently in the pipeline will also be key. For these plans to succeed, a stable and secure environment is necessary, which requires the EU to continue being clear and firm in order to deter new provocations.

Speaking of the disproportionate burden that his country is shouldering in managing migratory flows, he urged for a Migration and Asylum Pact based on solidarity and responsibility, and which tackles the external aspects of migration.

Reunifying Cyprus

The Cypriot President reiterated the need for a comprehensive solution to the occupation of the northern part of the island, in line with international law, UN Security Council Resolutions and EU law, values and principles. Stressing that the occupation is “an open wound to the body of Europe”, he thanked Parliament for all its efforts and demanded more EU engagement, within the UN-centred framework for a solution based on Security Council resolutions. The Cyprus problem is a European problem that requires European solutions, “using all the political-economic instruments and tools” at the European Union’s disposal. Christodoulides also asked for the appointment of an EU envoy for the Cyprus problem to help break the current deadlock.

Reactions from MEPs

Highlighting their unanimous support for a peaceful reunification of Cyprus, several speakers also backed the proposal for the appointment of an EU envoy. Tackling illegal migration was central to the exchange, while the question of energy resources also featured prominently, in the geopolitical context and in light of the green transition.

Most MEPs condemned Türkiye’s continued occupation and provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean, with many speaking against its instrumentalisation of migrants. Many speakers called for a harder EU stance while some highlighted the importance of a solid strategic partnership with Türkiye.

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