During his visit to Cyprus, President Andrzej Duda spoke about Poland’s problems on the border with Belarus and about the fact that the migration crisis is caused by the authorities in Minsk, which is an “unprecedented situation”. – Latvians, Lithuanians and we too are struggling with this problem – he said. – We are partners in the EU and we have similar sources of anxiety and similar challenges that our countries must face – said the President of Cyprus, Nikos Anastasiadis. – At the same time, we realize that we can approach problems and challenges in different ways, but there are certain issues that we understand and respect on both sides – he added.
President Andrzej Duda reported at a press conference on Thursday that he had talked with the President of Cyprus, Nikos Anastasiadis, about the European situation. – I shared with the president the information about the problem which Poland is currently struggling with in terms of border protection and migration. We have this problem on the border with Belarus – he said.
According to the president, we are dealing with “irresponsible behavior of the Belarusian authorities, completely contrary to all international standards, causing the migration crisis by pushing migrants to our border.”
– We guard this border, we perform our duties, because it is not only a Polish issue, but it is also the border of the EU and the Schengen area. Therefore, we have obligations, also to our European partners in this regard – emphasized Andrzej Duda.
Duda: Latvians, Lithuanians and us too are struggling with this problem
The President assured that Poland was taking “all measures to protect this border, so that a European migration crisis would not arise, that it would not turn into a European migration crisis”. – We act, we perform our duties, but also and we hope for the support of the EU. We hope that we will not only be supported by Frontex, but that we will simply be dealing with solidarity within the EU and that the entire EU will support us in this regard, also taking appropriate action against the Belarusian authorities to discourage them from generating this problem. – he pointed out.
He stressed that it was “an unprecedented situation that in fact the authorities of a specific state are responsible for the migration crisis, which not only organize the de facto arrival of migrants to their country, but also pushes these migrants towards the border in an organized manner.” – Latvians, Lithuanians and we are also struggling with this problem – he said.
Talks on the future of Cyprus
Duda reported that he also spoke with Anastasiadis about the future of Cyprus. – I assured the president of the Polish support that although we are friends and want to have as many friends as possible all over the world and we are friends with both Greece and Turkey, we always took the position that international law would be respected – he said. He added that “this is exactly the case here”. – International law on these issues today are UN Security Council resolutions, which indicate what solution should be adopted for Cyprus as islands – he stressed.
– We will accept any decision that is made, but as a result of negotiations that will be conducted by both sides. I hope that there will be a return to this negotiating table and that it will finally be possible to work out a solution that will allow Cypriots to live together, peacefully, build their prosperity and happiness without anxiety, without political bargains, and above all without any conflicts – added the president.
He indicated that he would visit the headquarters of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and meet with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Cyprus and the head of the UNFICYP mission, Elizabeth Spehar.
Appeal of the President of Cyprus
Nikos Anastasiadis noted that the visit of the Polish president was related to the 60th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Poland and Cyprus. He emphasized joint contacts and relations between the two countries since the Middle Ages.
– We are partners in the EU and we have similar sources of anxiety and similar challenges that our countries must face. At the same time, we are aware that we can approach problems and challenges in different ways, but there are certain issues that we understand and respect on both sides, said the President of Cyprus.
– We should adopt a common EU position that instrumentalization and treatment of migration as a political tool is unacceptable and necessary measures should be taken to resist such methods used by third countries – he said.
He called for an appropriate legal framework in the EU to strengthen solidarity and a sense of justice in the Member States in the area of migration. He also thanked President Duda for handing over “housing units” by Poland to Cyprus during the migration crisis.
Three documents were signed in the presence of both leaders: an agreement between the ministries of foreign affairs of both countries on political consultations, an agreement between the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland and the Cypriot Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy on cooperation in the area of cybersecurity and digital space, and also the cooperation program in the fields of science, education, culture, sport and youth for the years 2021-2025.
Since the intervention of the Turkish army in 1974 in the wake of the Greek-Cypriot nationalist coup, Cyprus has been divided into two parts. Mainly inhabited by Greek Cypriots, the southern part of the island is under the control of the internationally recognized government of the Republic of Cyprus. The north is administered by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognized only by Ankara and inhabited by Turkish Cypriots. For years, the island has been negotiating reunification under the aegis of the United Nations, with no result so far.
Meeting with the Polish community in Nicosia
During the Thursday meeting with the Polish community in Nicosia, Duda said that it is important that all Poles living abroad always remember about Poland. – I would like them to feel that Poland remembers about them, that it is grateful that it does not ignore their efforts – he said.
– My wife and I are very happy that we were able to come to you here, to Cyprus and to meet at the Polish embassy, shake hands, and above all to say thank you (…). Thank you for remembering Poland, for remembering the country where you were born, and sometimes for the country that you have taken to your heart and that you also work for it here. Apart from your professional affairs, apart from your everyday affairs, you conduct Polish affairs – said the president.
Duda pointed out that about 20 million Poles live abroad, of which about 10 million in the United States, and the rest in virtually all corners of the world.
Main photo source: YIANNIS KOURTOGLOU / PAP / EPA