“We will not allow the problems that the occupying power may try to create to distract us from exercising a thoroughly European presidency,” Christofias told the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Greek Cyprus took over the EU’s rotating presidency for a six-month period as of July 1. Turkey, which does not recognize the Greek Cypriot administration, has said it will freeze dialogue with the EU presidency during the Greek Cypriot term.
Though most European parliamentarians spoke predominantly about what the presidency should achieve during its six months at the helm, some chose to turn the spotlight on Greek Cyprus itself. “[Greek] Cyprus cannot lead the EU by size or strength, so it must lead by example. It cannot lead by being mortgaged to Moscow. It cannot lead by evading talks with Ankara,” Graham Watson, president of the European Liberal Democrat (ELDR) party, said, according to a statement released by his office.