Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides briefed his EU counterparts on the assistance that Cyprus is providing Ukraine, in cooperation with Poland, to help the country purchase electricity generators, in an intervention during Monday’s meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) of the European Union in Brussels.
The main topics of discussion were the latest developments regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the security situation and the increase of terrorist activity in the Sahel and the coastal states of West Africa, according to a statement. The EU’s Foreign Ministers also had a working lunch with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh.
Speaking during the discussion on Ukraine, Kasoulides informed his counterparts about the Cypriot contribution to initiatives in support of Ukraine’s resilience. These include the provision, together with Poland, of 300,000 euro in assistance for the purchase of electricity generators. He also referred to the need for the EU to play an active role in efforts to end the war.
The Foreign Minister also welcomed the renewal of the UN’s Black Sea Grain Initiative, and expressed his disappointment that Cyprus cannot participate due to the bans imposed on Cypriot ships by Turkey.
Kasoulides also referred to the need for the effective implementation of sanctions, and stressed that the practice of sanctions circumvention by some countries is hindering the overall efforts to affect Russia’s ability to continue its war against Ukraine.
The Cypriot Foreign Minister also expressed concern about the deteriorating situation in the Sahel region and noted that it is important for the EU to maintain its presence there.
He also thanked the European External Action Service for the support provided to his personal envoy who recently visited Gambia, in the context of the efforts of the Republic of Cyprus to prevent the upgrading of the unrecognised “TRNC”.
Kasoulides also expressed satisfaction with the establishment of a non-military mission in Armenia to support efforts to normalize relations with Azerbaijan. He made specific reference to the ongoing blockade of the Lachin corridor, underlining the importance of the EU’s presence, in particular to mitigate the humanitarian consequences of this blockade.
In an intervention during the working lunch in the presence of the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, the Foreign Minister also said that Cyprus supports further deepening of EU relations with Palestine. He reiterated the country’s support for a two-state solution in the framework of the Middle East Peace Process, and called on the EU to take an active role in relaunching the process.
He also referred to recent rising tensions in Jerusalem, and underlined the need for restraint and de-escalation in order to preserve the religious status quo in the Old City.
Finally, in the margins of the FAC, Kasoulides met with EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue Miroslav Lajcák.
Source: Cyprus News Agency