Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides has thanked the EU’s chief negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier and EU partners for their support and solidarity on the issue of the sovereign British bases in Cyprus.
He was speaking during today’s proceedings of the General Affairs Council under Article 50, which was concluded today in Brussels. The Minister noted that Cyprus wants the closest possible future relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom.
In particular, the Minister, referring to the relevant Protocol to the Withdrawal Agreement (W.A), expressed his gratitude to both Michel Barnier and the EU Member States for supporting and showing solidarity during the many months of negotiations between the Republic of Cyprus, assisted by the Commission, and the United Kingdom.
“The Protocol ensures the smooth pursuit of the implementation of the acquis communautaire in the bases’ areas in the areas covered by Protocol 3 to the Act of Accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU, and ensures the legal rights and interests of Cypriots and European citizens living and working in the British Bases,” stressed the Minister.
Moreover, the minister thanked the EU Chief negotiator and his team, “for the tireless efforts they have made, resulting in a complete text of the W.A. today.”
“We believe that the text of the W.A. is balanced and ensures the smooth and orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU,” the Foreign Minister said, noting that “the way forward is to define the EU’s future relationship with the United Kingdom.”
Referring to the Political Declaration on the Future Relationship, Christodoulides stressed that “Cyprus, which maintains close historical, economic and social ties with the United Kingdom, wants the closest possible future relationship between the EU and the UK.” At the same time, he noted that “in the future relationship it is particularly important to ensure the integrity of the Union`s legal order as well as the EU`s autonomy in planning and decision-making.”
In his own intervention, Barnier thanked the Cypriot Government for its commitment to the efforts to reach an agreement on the British bases issue and thanked Member States for their support and unity in underlining the need to continue preparing for the smooth transition of citizens and businesses, for UK’s withdrawal.
(Cyprus News Agency)