Cyprus and Spain committed to upgrade bilateral relations

Spain and Cyprus are committed to upgrading bilateral relations, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the countries pledged after talks on Wednesday in Nicosia.

Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, the EU and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain, Josep Borell and Cyprus’ Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Christodoulides conferred in Nicosia after the 5th Southern EU Countries Summit that was held on Tuesday and pledged to enhance bilateral relations but also work for a better and stronger Europe.

In his remarks, Borell thanked Cyprus for defending the integrity of the Spanish state in the Catalan issue.

He also said that Cyprus can count on Spain’s support on the Cyprus issue.

Furthermore, he said Cyprus and Spain have a lot to do in order to enhance relations in infrastructure, tourism, education and other fields.

Borell also expressed hope that the EU will be united in handling the issue in Venezuela and the problems in the Middle East.

In his remarks after the discussions, Minister of Foreign Affairs Christodoulides said they had a very positive, productive, and forward-looking discussion on the full spectrum of our excellent bilateral relations. They also exchanged views on a broad range of topics of common interest and concern, including European, regional and international issues.

Christodoulides said bilateral cooperation is at a very high level, adding they share common values and aspirations in an array of fields, from foreign and security policy, to human rights, to climate change, and the future of the European Union, to which both countries remain firmly committed.

The Cypriot FM said they examined ways in which cooperation can be even further enhanced, in fields such as trade, investment and education. In this regard, he remarked we believe that the institutionalization of a bilateral consultation mechanism between the two Foreign Ministries could provide an important platform for discussions on how this could be achieved. The minister said he proposed the formulation of a roadmap or plan of action on developments the two countries would like to see in their bilateral relations.

Moreover, as representatives of two of the EU’s Mediterranean member states, we exchanged information and ideas on how the EU and its Member States can contribute more substantially and effectively to the promotion of peace and the strengthening of stability in our wider region.

The two also discussed a number of current issues on their European agenda, with a focus on Brexit, migration, as well as EU relations with candidate countries including Turkey.

With regard to migration, Christodoulides said he conveyed our deep concern at the latest increase in numbers of migrants arriving in Cyprus and asylum seekers. Spain and Cyprus share the view that an effective implementation of the core principle of solidarity is imperative.We are in agreement, he added, that responsibility needs to be shared, in the context of Dublin Regulation, through a binding relocation mechanism which takes into consideration the integration capacities of each Member State.

Christodoulides said he briefed his Spanish colleague extensively on the latest developments with regard to the Cyprus problem, noting the status quo cannot be the solution of the Cyprus problem.

He also briefed the Minister on the exploration program in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone. This issue, as very clearly stated in the Declaration adopted yesterday during the MED7 Summit, is an important component of energy security in Europe, the minister remarked.

Source: Cyprus News Agency