Cyprus and Serbia FMs condemn unilateral actions, stress need to respect sovereignty of all states

Cyprus and Serbia Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Ioannis Kasoulides and Nikola Selakovic condemned the unilateral actions and stressed need to respect sovereignty of all states, while confirming the excellent level of the countries’ relations.

Cyprus Foreign Affairs Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, confirmed the excellent level of dialogue, mutual commitment to further consolidate the bilateral relations and the high level of trust between the two Ministries.

After he expressed his gratitude for the principled positions of Serbia on the Cyprus problem and the constant support to the process that will eventually lead to a peaceful solution, on the basis of the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, Kasoulides reiterated the position of Cyprus on the issue of non–recognition of Kosovo.

In statements to the press, after their meeting, the Minister said that he updated Minister Selakovic on the latest developments on the peace process in Cyprus and in particular the set of Confidence Building Measures that our side has put forward.

He also elaborated on the recent provocations in the fenced off part of Turkish occupied Famagusta, known as Varosha, and in the sea, after the announcements by Turkey for new exploration drillings in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus.

“Regional and international developments where at the centre of our discussions today. These developments are driven by the consequences of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine,” ne noted.

“During the meeting, I had the opportunity to explain the position of Cyprus, stemming from our full adherence to the rules of international law and the need for respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states,” he added.

Concerning the situation in the Balkans, Kasoulides said that the political environment in the region became very fragile in recent years and a spark is more than enough to set the region on fire, as yesterday’s incidents in Mitrovica have demonstrated.

“We sincerely wish that the crisis will be resolved by diplomatic means, ensuring the wellbeing of all the inhabitants of the city. This confirms, once again, that the only viable way to ensure long-term stability and prosperity in the region, is European integration,” he said.

The recent decision of the EU to open accession negotiations for North Macedonia and Albania, is a positive step in the right direction, according to Cyprus FM. “We are looking forward to swift progress in the accession negotiations of the countries of the region, including Serbia. At the same time, we have to realise, that also we in the EU, have to be more convincing that we indeed mean business, and that the countries of the region will eventually be able to join the Union,” he said. “Unfortunately, this has not always been the case. In this regard, Cyprus is committed to working closely with our partners in the EU, and also with our friends in the region,” he added.

Kasoulides also condemned “unilateral actions as the ones that were about to take place in Kosovo only yesterday”.

On his part, Serbia’s Foreign Minister, Nikola Selakovic, assured of a relationship of traditional friendship, closeness and solidarity between the two peoples.

“I would like to take this opportunity to send a strong political message that the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Cyprus are committed to deepening cooperation and expand the dialogue in all areas, as well as to a consistent and principled mutual support to key issues of state and national interest,” he noted.

Selakovic expressed his gratitude for the support of Cyprus to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Serbia, adding that in during the talks “we also discussed the efforts that Serbia is making in order to reach a compromise and thus a sustainable, lasting solution to the issue of Kosovo.”

“Each kind of unilateralism is not acceptable, it’s something which is completely contrary to reaching a compromising and sustainable lasting solution,” he added, noting that for Serbia the non-recognition of Kosovo is invaluable.

“The Republic of Serbia extends full and unreserved support to the efforts made by Cyprus to resolve its most significant national issue, in order to preserve its territorial integrity and sovereignty,” he stressed.

“We believe, that a comprehensive solution to the territorial dispute, should be founded on the basis of the UN resolutions and the agreement between the two sides, on the basis of the international public law,” Selakovic said, reaffirming Serbia’s position regarding all the rights of the Republic of Cyprus deriving from the international public law, on exploring and exploiting its EEZ in the Eastern Mediterranean and on returning Varosha to its rightful owners.

Serbia’s FM expressed his gratitude to Cyprus for its consistent and continuous support of Serbia, during its accession process, adding that “we are actively working together with Cyprus and other countries from the surrounding area to strengthen cooperation in the field of energy, especially in the context of energy diversification.”

He said that Serbia is also interested in deepening economic cooperation with Cyprus, encouraging “the Cyprus business community to invest in Serbia,” which, as he said, guarantees investment security for foreign investors.

Asked if the situation with Kosovo is better today in comparison to yesterday, the Minister answered that it is seems to be better than yesterday, but the situation is very fragile.

“Our people were not allowed to participate on a referendum on January 16th this year on the amendments of the Serbian constitution, they were not allowed to participate on general elections on April 3rd this year. It is not only about ID cards and vehicle registration plates”, he concluded.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Numerous rounds of talks under the UN aegis to reunite the island under a federal roof failed to yield results.

UN Security Council resolution 550 (1984) considers any attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN. Resolution 789 (1992) also urges that with a view to the implementation of resolution 550 (1984), the area at present under the control of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus be extended to include Varosha.

Source: Cyprus News Agency