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President supports Cypriot priorities for their Chairmanship of the Council of Europe

At the end of his visit to Cyprus (24-25 November), PACE President Pedro Agramunt praised Cypriot authorities for their commitment towards Council of Europe values and for the ambitious programme of the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers.

“During my official meetings, I commended the authorities for the impressive number (135) of Council of Europe conventions that Cyprus has ratified over the years. I encouraged the authorities to continue on this positive path and to take a further concrete step in the near future, namely the ratification of the Istanbul Convention”, the President said.

Turning to the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, PACE President expressed full support for the Country’s priorities. He stated: “I am particularly pleased that great importance is given to the promotion of social rights, the reinforcement of cooperation with other international organisations and the fight against radicalisation. These are all issues which the Assembly attaches great importance. With regard to the fight against radicalisation, I welcome that the focus will be on the role of education. One of the messages that I am promoting in the initiative #NoHateNoFear is that education plays a key role in promoting tolerance and avoiding that young people fall into the trap of extremists. I am sure that we will cooperate closely on this and other topics during the Cypriot Chairmanship”, he added.

During his discussions, PACE President also raised the issue of on-going talks on the reconciliation of Cyprus and its people. “The very recent slowing down in progress in the negotiations shall not undermine the genuine belief that unity is the only way forward. With my interlocutors, I gave my full support and that of the Assembly to continue these efforts to find a long-lasting solution based on reconciliation, mutual trust and peaceful coexistence”, he said.

During his visit, and in the margins of the Standing Committee and the Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly, the President met with the President of the Republic, Níkos Anastasiádis, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ioannis Kasoulides, and the President of the House of Representatives, Demetris Syllouris.