House President discusses Cyprus issue, migration crisis and bilateral ties with Deputy Speaker of Lebanese Parliament

Foreign Affairs

President of the Parliament Annita Demetriou received Thursday the Deputy Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, Elias Bou Saab, who is visiting Cyprus, head of a delegation, to participate in the meeting of the International Secretariat, Presidents and Rapporteurs of the Committees of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy, hosted by the Parliament in Limassol. On the agenda were the Cyprus issue, migration crisis and bilateral relations. During the meeting, an announcement by the Parliament says, Demetriou and Bou Saab underlined the traditionally close relations of friendship and cooperation between Cyprus and Lebanon, based on common principles and exchanged views on the prospects for further strengthening these ties at the bilateral, tripartite and multilateral level. Bou Saab noted the presence of many Lebanese who live, work and study in Cyprus, which they consider their second home. The President of the Parliament expressed gratitude for Lebanon's positions regarding the Cyprus issue. She expressed disappointment at the Turkish side's insistence on recognizing the pseudo-state as a condition for the resumption of the peace talks. She noted that such claims which would legitimize the Turkish invasion and continued occupation of part of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, cannot be accepted for any reason and have been repeatedly rejected by the European Union and the entire international community. Bou Saab reaffirmed Lebanon's principled position in favor of respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus and resolving the Cyprus problem in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions. On the agenda was also the cooperation between the Parliaments of Cyprus and Lebanon and Demetriou noted that cooperation and solidarity is the key to dealing with common challenges. As regards the migration crisis they both agreed on the need for a holistic approach, based on solidarity and the equal distribution of responsibilities between the member states of the European Union. They also exchanged views on the difficulties faced by the two countries, due to the huge refugee flows. Cyprus House President criticized Turkey's efforts to instrumentalize the issue and the fact that Cyprus ends up as the EU member state with the most asylum seekers and irregular migrants per capita. Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

Source: Cyprus News Agency