Cyprus, Ireland reaffirm support to EU commitment on Brexit

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades.

Nicosia,  Cyprus and Ireland have identical views on Brexit and firmly support the original agreement reached between the European Union and the British government for an orderly exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the Presidents of the two countries said after talks in Nicosia.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said Irish President Michael Higgins, who is paying a three-day official visit to Cyprus, fully briefed him on the latest developments and the implications that Brexit will have on Ireland, Xinhua news agency reported.

“I reiterated our unwavering solidarity with Ireland on this sensitive issue. Cyprus stands firmly in support of the EU commitment to protect the all-island economy of Ireland, as well as the EU Single Market and, most importantly, the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process,” Anastasiades said on Monday.

The Good Friday agreement was reached on Good Friday, 10 April 1998 as part of the peace arrangements that led to the end of the fighting in Northern Ireland and was endorsed by the Brexit agreement.

It defines the status and system of government of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom, the relationship between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and the relationship between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Ireland and Cyprus, along with Spain, are the three EU countries with common borders with British soil which will be affected in a similar way in the case of an unregulated Brexit.

Higgins said that Brexit “has implications for both of our peoples and we have been supportive of each other’s specific national issues.”

Cyprus and Ireland, two island nations, have close relations due to almost identical historical circumstances. Both countries fought armed struggles against Britain and in the 1950s arrested or convicted Cypriot guerrilla fighters were held in North Ireland prisons along with Irish fighters.

Ireland also provided a strong contingent to the United Nations Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus established after inter communal fighting in 1964 and is still providing a contingent of civilian policemen.

Anastasiades said that he and Higgins reaffirmed the excellent co-operation and synergies that the two countries have established both bilaterally and multilaterally.