Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides and UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt expressed hope that the “mission of the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Cyprus Ms Lutte will lead to positive results and, more specifically, to the quick resumption of talks since they were interrupted at Crans -Montana”, during their meeting on the sidelines of Gymnich in Vienna.
Christodoulides met with his British counterpart and discussed the current state of affairs on the Cyprus issue and the prospects of reopening the talks.
They also exchanged views on the negotiations on Brexit, recognizing the importance (despite the difficulties encountered) of a short conclusion regarding the Retirement Agreement.
The two countries’ common approach to the need for a strong EU-UK relationship in the post Brexit era and the need to fully safeguard the rights of those residing and working within the UK bases was reaffirmed during their meeting.
As for the discussions in Gymnich itself (the bi-annual informal meeting of EU foreign ministers), Christodoulides intervened during a debate on the Middle East and after highlighting the EU’s multifaceted importance, he stressed the need to develop a more targeted EU engagement in the Middle East, building on the Union`s neighbourhood in this direction.
In this context, the Foreign Minister referred to the excellent relations of Cyprus with all the countries of the region and the tripartite cooperation mechanisms developed jointly with Greece, expressing at the same time Nicosia`s readiness to work, and on behalf of Brussels , for a more direct and effective engagement of the EU with the states of the region.
Finally, with regard to Transatlantic Relations, Christodoulides referred to common challenges that require enhanced cooperation between the EU and the United States, and noted the need for a continuous and honest dialogue, with full respect for possible different approaches.