Britain will forge closer ties with Cyprus after Brexit with the rights of nationals in each country guaranteed for the future.
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades met British High Commissioner Stephen Lillie at the Presidential Palace on Monday, in light of Britain exiting the EU on January 31.
Lillie told reporters: “Over the weekend we opened a new chapter in the history of our country in which we are free to be bold, self-confident, ambitious on the international stage, forging new partnerships around the world.”
He added: “At the same time we are very much treasuring the connections, the relations and our shared interests with our European friends.”
Lillie reassured the President about the UK’s continuing commitment to a “strong, wide-ranging, very deep relationship” with Cyprus in the future.
This new relationship would be “based on shared values, shared history, the membership in the Commonwealth, our large communities of Cypriots in the UK and Britons in Cyprus. The President very much agreed with me on that.”
Lillie said the two countries remain closely linked with common agendas.
“We want to work together on in the future whether that is on the most important issue for Cypriots, which is the reunification of the country, and also on the big international challenges of the century, particularly the fight against climate change.”
Lillie said he was “very grateful” for Anastasiades’ “commitment to protecting the rights of our citizens here in Cyprus ensuring continued access to healthcare.”
“I reassured the President that we are doing exactly the same for Cypriot nationals in the UK. It is very easy for Cypriot nationals to register online and they have until the end of June next year to do that.”
He said Cypriot national can continue to travel to the UK without a visa or passport, by only using their ID card.
“This is just one of the things we are doing to ensure the relationship between the UK and Cyprus remains as strong as it has ever been.”
Lillie said this year marks 60 years of Cyprus independence, “60 years of relations between Britain and Cyprus as equals”.
“This is a great chance to look forward and set a bold new vision for the relations between the two countries.”