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Cyprus-US share common approach on various issues, FM says

September 26, 2018 at 11:48am
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Nicosia and Washington share a common approach on a number of issues and their relation is of strategic importance, Foreign Minister, Nicos Christodoulides said on Tuesday after a meeting he had in New York with US Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Wess Mitchell.

Christodoulides expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the meeting, saying that he is convinced that the results of the meeting will be announced very soon and will demonstrate in a tangible way the strategic importance of the relations between the two states.

According to reliable sources, the meeting focused on bilateral relations and geostrategic issues in the region, and a number of announcements will be made during the visit that the Cypriot Foreign Minister will hold in Washington in the beginning of November, where he will hold a meeting with his US counterpart Mike Pompeo.

The Cypriot Foreign Minister described his meeting with Mitchell as very constructive, noting that it yielded results, which will be announced soon and will demonstrate in a tangible way the strategic importance of the two countries’ bilateral relations, the common approach in a number of issues and the Eastern Mediterranean, and how, through joint actions, the two countries will cooperate to deal with these problems, and also for the promotion of a positive agenda in the region.

All these announcements will be made in the framework of a high level visit that will take place very soon, he continued.
Christodoulides explained that the announcements concern issues of security and energy and political matters, but also in general the approach of the two countries on a number of issues that concern the international community and most specifically the Eastern Mediterranean.

It will be a declaration on how we will continue in the near future with the US – Cyprus relations, he went on to say.

Asked when he will meet with the US Secretary of State, Christodoulides said that there will be a press release on that very soon.

“The announcements that will be made will concern bilateral relations, as well as regional cooperation, actions on regional level, so that those states that share the same concerns and have the same approach, proceed with common actions to achieve the best possible results,” he said.

Replying to questions regarding the US role in the Cyprus issue, the Minister said that there is a vivid interest of the US side, which focuses also on the peacekeeping force in Cyprus, that also emanates from the US relation with Turkey.

“All those issues have been discussed and I must express my satisfaction with what I have heard’, he said.

Asked about the US position during the discussion at the UN Security Council concerning the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and the US stance on this issue, the Minister said that the US position on UN peace-keeping missions does not concern only the peacekeeping force in Cyprus, adding that the US have set some criteria which concern the functioning of the peace missions.

“We had (with Mr Mitchell) an extensive discussion including this particular issue. And here lays the interest and the special approach that must be taken for the peace force because it concerns the region and does not concern exclusively the Republic of Cyprus and the US. It is an issue that concerns other states in our region”, the Minister said.

Asked if the US understands the special circumstances of Cyprus as regards the presence of the peacekeeping force, the Foreign Minister said that “details on this issue will be discussed at a higher level soon.”

“What will emerge clearly from the announcements that will be made is the importance attached to the role that the Republic of Cyprus can play in the region. In order for this role to be played by us  – this role can become even stronger – is something that is also related to the operation of the peacekeeping force in Cyprus”, he said.

Asked if the US views Turkey in or out of the energy plans in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Minister said that “the US approach to the energy developments in the Eastern Mediterranean is well known, the sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus to its Exclusive Economic Zone is fully respected and it is within this context that there is activity and increased interest by US Exxon company.”

Meanwhile, Mitchell held a meeting afterwards with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias. Focus of the meeting was the promotion of cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean giving emphasis on the economy and energy, as well as the preparation of Kotzias’ visit to Washington in December.

A Greek diplomatic source said that the first issue they discussed is part of the wider  activity in the Eastern Mediterranean region, with the recent visits by Foreign Ministers, Nicos Kotzias and Nicos Christodoulides, to Jerusalem and Cairo.

In connection with the visit to Washington, it is noted that this would be Kotzia’s second visit in 2018, and that this is indicative of the relations that have been developed between the two sides.

It is recalled that the joint communique of the Pompeo – Kotzias meeting in May stressed that they agreed to launch in 2018 the Greek – American Strategic Dialogue in key areas of cooperation.

(Cyprus News Agency)