Cyprus House President concludes official Ireland visit

Cyprus’ House President, Annita Demetriou on Wednesday concluded her contacts in Ireland, with a meeting with Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, as part of her official visit to the country, at the invitation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Ireland, Seán Ó Fearghaíl.

According to a House of Representatives press release, Demetriou held contacts with President of Ireland, Michael Higgins, Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, and Ó Fearghaíl, among others. It is noted that the Ambassador of Cyprus to Ireland, Charis Christodoulidou, was present in all the meetings of the House Speaker.

On Tuesday, the press release said, Demetriou was received by the President of Ireland, Michael Higgins, who underlined his country’s support for principle-based efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue. The House President thanked Higgins for Ireland’s principled stance and its firm support for efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem, in accordance with international law, the relevant UN Resolutions and European principles and values.

During her meeting with the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Ireland, the close ties and similarities between the two countries, as small island states of the EU, were noted, the statement said. The two Presidents underlined their will and intention to strengthen relations between the two Parliaments through increased exchanges at various levels, further highlighting the added value of parliamentary diplomacy to promote cooperation in areas of common interest, such as technology and innovation, energy, agriculture, justice and education, it added.

Demetriou also met with Chairman of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, and Deputy Chairman of the Joint Committee on European Affairs of the Irish Parliament, Charlie Flanagan and Brendan Howlin, respectively, and members of the two committees.

The House Speaker had a meeting on Tuesday with the Minister of State at the Department of Justice with responsibility for law reform, James Browne. During the meeting, there was an exchange of views on issues related to the integration of the gender dimension in legislation, the strategy for the protection of victims of gender-based and domestic violence, as well as the legislative framework for dealing with juvenile delinquency, it adds.

Later on Tuesday Demetriou addressed the Plenary of the Senate and then attended part of the proceedings of the Plenary of the House of Representatives.

She visited Trinity College Dublin, where she was briefed about the operation and faculties of the University and had a meeting with Assistant Professor in Ancient Visual and Material Culture, Dr. Giorgos Papantoniou, at the Department of Classics of the University where Cypriot archeology is taught.

On Wednesday, the Speaker of the House was received by the Prime Minister of the country, Leo Varadkar. During the meeting, Demetriou briefed the Irish Prime Minister about the current situation regarding the Cyprus problem, underlining the benefits and opportunities that will arise from the reunification of Cyprus, given its important geostrategic position, the press release noted. The President of the House of Representatives reiterated the Republic of Cyprus’ firm support to Ukraine and its people, despite the economic consequences for the country.

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.


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