The recent large influx of migrants to Cyprus was one of a wide range of topics under discussion on Monday in Berlin between the foreign minister, Nicos Christodoulides, and his German counterpart Heiko Maas.
The two also discussed bilateral relations, Brexit, the Cyprus issue, the island’s energy plans and Turkey’s EU accession, Christodoulides said.
“In the context of the conversation, we also exchanged views on migration and spoke of our deep concern, since Cyprus has recently faced taking in the largest proportion of asylum seekers per population,” Christodoulides added.
Focusing on Turkey, Maas said the Cyprus issue lies along Ankara’s path to EU membership.
“Germany supports the process of progress in the solution of the Cyprus problem for a permanent and viable solution, to build trust on both sides in order to find a political solution. We want a constructive attitude from both sides, but mainly from the Turkish one,” he said, adding that a solution was very important, not only for the two sides, but also for the whole region.
“The solution of the Cyprus problem lies in the European course of Turkey. It is Turkey’s question of how to develop its relationship with the EU. An improvement in relations would be in the interest of all,” he said.
The two ministers also discussed forthcoming visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Germany. Maas said Germany’s goal was to normalise relations with Turkey and that during his visit there last week he mentioned the problems that exist and insisted there should be a dialogue.
Christodoulides said he and Maas had discussed the need to further strengthen Europe’s autonomy in defence and security.
“We were particularly pleased to see that our approaches are identical and within this framework there will also be the necessary cooperation at European Union level,” he said.
“We exchanged views on the situation in Syria as well as the Middle East… I informed my counterpart about the work being done in the framework of the tripartite partnerships that Cyprus has developed in cooperation with Greece, with all the countries in the region. We think it would be useful for the EU as well as for Germany to look at the prospects of using these mechanisms to strengthen the role that the European Union can and must play in promoting stability and peace,” he added.
Overall, Christodoulides said it was clear that Cyprus and Germany had a common understanding of most of the key issues that concern Europe and the international community.