Nicosia.- (CNA) -President Demetris Christofias, defending the Constitution and exercising the functions and powers conferred on it, will exercise the right to veto on a decision by the House of Representatives requesting membership in NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP), said Thursday Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou.
”The decision of the House of Representatives requesting membership in the PfP is an act that violates the Constitution and the separation of powers, which is one of its basic principles” said Stephanou in a written statement.
Stephanou explained that ”the PfP is neither an international organization nor a treaty of alliance, for the House of Representatives to invoke Article 50.1.A of the Constitution”. He added that the Partnership for Peace is a programme of NATO.
Additionally, the Spokesman clarified that equal participation of Cyprus in the mechanisms of Defense and Security of the European Union is granted and that the interests of the Republic are best served by the defense and preservation of its constitutional status.
“Under the Constitution, foreign policy is the responsibility of the executive power”, he pointed out, adding that that the Governance Program of the President does not include a commitment or a political decision for the Republic of Cyprus to join the PfP.
The House of Representatives adopted Thursday a decision urging the government o apply membership in the PfP, with 32 votes in favor, 17 against and one abstention.
Apart from AKEL, the left wing party which backs the government of President Christofias, all parliamentary parties, including government partner DIKO voted in favor of joining the Partnership for Peace. The Cyprus Green Party abstained from voting.
President of the House Marios Garoyian stated that as House President he respects all the views.
According to the decision of the House “the accession of Cyprus to the PfP, which has the main purpose of promoting peace and security in Europe, serves the best interests of the state of Cyprus”.
The decision also says that participation in the Partnership will enhance the status of the Republic internationally as well as its statehood, widening the potential for more active and fuller participation in all policy pillars of the European Union.
The decision explains that in accordance with the provisions of Article 50.1.A of the Constitution, the House has the authority to decide on issues concerning the participation of the Republic in international organizations and treaties of alliance, where both Greece and Turkey participate and that the President of the Republic has no right to veto decisions of the House on the above issues.
Cyprus is neither a member of the NATO nor of the Partnership for Peace, meaning that it cannot participate in EU missions drawn on NATO capabilities. Cyprus joined the EU in 2004.