British Prime Minister Theresa May: Britain does not wish to retain guarantor status in Cyprus
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades met with Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday. They began their discussion with the outcome of Monday’s reception held to honour the Cypriot President at Clarence House in London by Prince of Wales, Charles, and Duke of Cambridge, Prince William. The reception honoured the longstanding contribution of Cyprus diaspora members to all aspects of the British society.
The British Prime Minister also discussed operational issues stemming from the Brexit question. Britain pledged to work together with European authorities to make alternative arrangements to European citizens living in Britain and vice versa, and respecting the backstop agreement in the Northern Irish border. The British Prime Minister congratulated President Anastasiades for safeguarding the rights of British citizens even in a no deal Brexit scenario and reassured the Cypriot President of reciprocal treatment by the British authorities on E.U. citizen rights.
The second issue in the agenda of discussion revolved around the Cyprus question. The British Prime Minister reiterated Britain’s longstanding position on the issue, envisioning a solution based on the provisions of U.N. Security Council Resolutions and the European Union’s cooperative spirit. For this reason Prime Minister May appeared to be keen supporter of the resumption of U.N. sponsored peace dialogue between the contending parties. Both counterparts also agreed to deepen their commercial and political ties in the future even though the British Prime Minister, reiterated for once again, that Britain is not interested to withhold the guarantor status for Cyprus. This statement comes in the aftermath of last Friday’s meeting in the House of Commons, where British Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Mark Lancaster, argued that in the last five years, the British state expended more than €380 million to cover the maintenance costs and operating expenses of British Sovereign Bases in Cyprus.