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European Council's President Visit to Cyprus

Statement by the President of the European Council, Mr Donald Tusk, after his meeting with the President of the Republic of Cyprus.

Published on: 11 September 2015

I am happy to be in Cyprus today on my first visit as President of the European Council.

Our meeting takes place at a challenging time for this island and for Europe. And this is what we have discussed today.

First, I warmly welcome the promising resumption of Cyprus settlement talks. I see a real chance to solve this with both parties committed to achieving a lasting solution. A real interest and willingness to act from all parties is the way forward.

The next three months will be critical to eliminate obstacles to the necessary mutual understanding and trust. I have told President Anastasiades today, the European Union will continue full and resolute support to the settlement process within the UN framework. We stand ready to provide whatever practical support both parties and the UN would find most useful.

A historical moment is at hand. It should not be missed. Let me assure you that I am ready to do whatever it takes not to miss this one. To the benefit of all of Cyprus and of Europe.

We also discussed the Middle East and the role of Cyprus as a regional player. I am grateful for President Anastasiades' constructive contribution to help resolve crises in our neighborhood. Europe has a huge interest in this part of the world. Recent events have underlined how deeply we are all affected by what happens in our neighborhood. And thank you very again Nicos for your initiative, because in fact my whole trip to the region was also idea and your initiative.

In this context, we also discussed the refugee crisis. This visit is part of my consultations with member states on how to tackle this huge challenge, including the questions of relocation and resettlement. Cyprus is a good example of a country that is ready to help and show solidarity. The time has come to take decisions. Justice and Home Affairs Ministers are meeting on Monday at an emergency session. From that meeting, we will need a concrete, positive sign of solidarity and unity.

After contacts that I had with member states the last few days, I feel more hopeful today that we are closer to finding a solution based on consensus and genuine solidarity. Without such a decision, I will have to call an emergency meeting of the European Council still, in September.

President Anastasiades and I also discussed the economic development of Cyprus. I was pleased to hear how the efforts by the people of Cyprus are bringing positive results. It will be important to maintain this momentum and to advance on structural reforms. This will strengthen public finances and lay the ground for sustained growth and job creation now and in the future.

I am sure that Cyprus can be also the best example of our common efforts and our program’s work and this is why I am really satisfied, especially after the information about possible growth and the stability of public finances.

I am thankful for the constructive role you have played and will continue to play in the European Union in addressing all of our problems


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