The European Parliament fully supports current efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue, President Martin Schulz said on Wednesday on an official visit to the country, adding that a window of opportunity now exists for a historic step forward for Cyprus and the wider region. At the end of his two-day visit to the island on 29-30 March, the President said Cyprus could become a "message of hope" for all of Europe and promised that Parliament would stand by the country in a post-settlement era.
Following a meeting with Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades, Martin Schulz said: "I am here to offer my full support to the remarkable progress made in Cyprus, especially in the last year. Parliament will stand by Cyprus." President Anastasiades remarked: "President Schulz and I agree that the problem of Cyprus is a European one and that the solution must be in line with the principles and values of the EU." "The European Parliament's contribution is paramount and the visit of President Schulz is extremely important," he added.
President Schulz visited Cyprus on an invitation by the speaker of the Cypriot House of Representatives Yiannakis Omirou. Following his meeting with Omirou, the President noted that the Cyprus issue, the Turkish accession negotiations and the refugee crisis are entirely separate questions.
The President also met the Turkish Cypriot community leader Mustafa Akinci as well as party leaders and UN representative Espen Barth Eide. While in Cyprus he held a television debate with young people from the Greek and Turkish-Cypriot communities.