09 March 2014 12:00

What is happening in the Ukraine highlights what Cyprus has suffered over the past 40 years during Turkish military occupation, President Anastasiades told the European People's Party summit on Saturday.
"As I refer to Ukraine, I am prompted to mention that what is happening in this country brings to mind what Cyprus has suffered, where one third of its territory has been under military occupation for the last 40 years," he said.
Anastasiades was taking part in the summit whose purpose was to decide on the EPP's candidate for president of the European Commission.
"The summit coincides with a crisis in Europe that highlights our collective responsibility. The European People's Party has always championed a stronger and more active European Union at the international level, but even more so in our neighbourhood, within Europe," Anastasiades said.
"The European People's Party was the first political party that underlined the need to respect territorial integrity of states, the importance of respecting and upholding the principles of international law, and maintaining good neighbourly relations," he added.
He then informed them on last month's re-launch of stalled UN-brokered Cyprus peace talks after an agreement was reached between him and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu on a join communiqué.  This highlights the key principles of a federated Cyprus.
"I am particularly pleased that following the efforts and perseverance of our side, we have achieved the inclusion in the Joint Statement of a reference to the European Union, and specifically to a final solution that will respect and safeguard the principles of the European Union, and to a common future for Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in a united Cyprus within the European Union."
"Since 2004 Cyprus has been a full member state of the European Union, and will continue to be a member following the solution. A united Cyprus needs to be able to participate actively and effectively in the European Union."
Anastasiades also said that the problem Europe faces today, especially the economic situation in the Eurozone, calls for the EPP to be a pioneer in the efforts to reverse this.
"I come from a country where two weeks after my election I had to address a severe economic situation. It was not later than a year after being elected President that my government, managed to put Cyprus back on track and created opportunities for prosperity and development," he said. 


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