The sooner the EU becomes fully involved in the Cyprus talks, the better, says EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell.
In a reply letter to the chairman of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, David McAllister, released by the Democratic Alarm on Sunday, Borrell welcomed the agreement reached in Geneva in April for another informal “5 + 1” meeting, such as The UN Secretary-General announced on April 29, adding that the EU continues to fully support the United Nations and its ongoing efforts to create the best possible conditions for the next meeting.
“We are ready to provide any assistance that both Cypriot leaders and the United Nations would find useful. “I reassured UN Secretary-General Guterres of the readiness of both the EU and myself to participate in politics, aware of the sensitivities of the process, which aims to lead to a successful outcome,” Borrell said in a letter. on the first of June.
In addition, he notes that a future settlement must be compatible with the EU acquis and the EU safeguards, integrity and responsibilities and EU decision-making processes.
“The EU is an observer of the official conference on Cyprus. For the above reasons, the sooner the EU becomes fully involved in the Cyprus talks, the better. “We are raising this with Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots,” he said.
He recalled that senior EU officials were in Geneva in April for bilateral meetings and noted that the EU remained in close co-operation with the United Nations and the Contracting Parties.
Borrell also says he shares the assessment that the situation in Cyprus is unsustainable and is increasingly worrying both from the perspective of both Cyprus and the EU, and because of its impact on regional stability and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“As the European Council has repeatedly confirmed, the EU remains fully committed to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and in line with the EU acquis,” he said.
However, Borrell notes that as he has discussed with both President Anastasiadis and the Turkish Cypriot leader Tatar, the solution to the Cyprus problem cannot come from outside and that the responsibility for finding a solution lies first and foremost with the Cypriots themselves.
“We know this is going to be a complicated process, but during my talks, I was encouraged by the readiness of both President Anastasiadis and Mr. Tatar to work with the UN to find common ground on the way forward.” adds.
It also welcomes the intention of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs to organize an exchange of views on the status quo of the Cyprus issue.
For his part, in his letter, the President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament referred to the outcome of the Geneva meeting, noting that “whatever one thinks about its realistic prospects, the situation in Cyprus is increasingly worrying. from the EU 's perspective “.
“While many issues are at stake, the security dimension needs to be closely monitored. Recent developments around hydrocarbons have shown that the Cyprus issue has the potential to destabilize the Eastern Mediterranean region. In addition, as it is known, from an economic point of view, the Cyprus problem hinders the development of a sustainable energy infrastructure in the region, which also affects the energy architecture of the Union itself “, he adds.
He also stressed that any settlement in Cyprus, if it is to take place, requires an active agreement from both the Cypriot communities, but also from Turkey.
“Unfortunately, recent developments in Turkey have further reduced the scope of any agreements. However, I am convinced that the EU must look for solutions to the Cyprus problem that are compatible with the EU acquis, and therefore the sooner the EU is involved, the better. “
McAllister adds that challenges to regional dynamics have shown that the status quo on the island may no longer be stable.
“The EU rightly declares its strong support for a Cypriot settlement owned by Cyprus and led by Cyprus. There can be no viable solution imposed from abroad. At the same time, the two communities have deviated further from each other since Crans Montana in 2017, “he says.
In addition, he notes that he is convinced that the EU should seek to play a more decisive role in the process, in the view of President Anastasiadis, who has repeatedly called for a more active role in the EU. Finally, he says the AFET Commission considers it a priority the organization of an exchange of views on the status quo of the Cyprus issue, including in particular the role of the EU as described above, in good time before the possible convening of the 5 + 1 conference by the UN in June or July.