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A Cyprus divided is bad for Europe

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As long as Cyprus is divided, Europe will never be complete, European Parliament head Roberta Metsola said on Tuesday in statements with President Nikos Christodoulides.

Metsola and Christodoulides held talks before he addressed the EP plenary in Strasbourg.

“The only way forward is for there to be a single, sovereign European state, a bicommunal, bizonal federation in line with the UN Security Council resolutions.

“The EU, potentially through an envoy, could facilitate a new impetus to the negotiations so they can start again.”

Christodoulides said: “We are doing our utmost to resume negotiations, and I am looking forward to the support of the European Parliament.”

He said the EU could lead efforts to resume moribund Cyprus negotiations.

On the migration issue, Metsola said: “A challenge which is not specific for Cyprus but one that I know is very present for you.

“It is clear no member state can handle migration flows on its own, and this is why last week’s breakthrough agreement on new migration rules is very good news”.

Christodoulides said they discussed migration, issues of common interest, and the European elections that will take place next year.

He said it was a “great honour” for him to be at the European Parliament 100 days after assuming his duties.

Metsola said the Cyprus problem is not only a Cypriot question but also a European question.

“And I believe that an increased EU involvement at all stages of the negotiations can only be helpful, especially as any solution is to be properly aligned with the EU acquis”.

She said the restart of the talks must be “our first step and priority”.

“The only way forward is for there to be a single, sovereign European state, a bicommunal, bizonal federation in line with the UN Security Council resolutions.

“We should also keep in mind that Cyprus has acceded to the European Union as a whole and has the need and the reason for EU involvement”.

Christodoulides said, “Active involvement of the EU, especially at this juncture, especially now that we are trying to break the deadlock and resume the negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem, I really believe that it can be a game changer.”

He argued that “the EU has all the necessary tools, the incentives within the full spectrum of the EU – Turkey relationship that can lead to a win-win situation for all interested parties.”

“We need the EU to be actively involved always within the context of the UN framework. The EU is not to replace the UN; the EU is to support the efforts of the UN,” he said.