Cyprus’ gas fields can be significant part of the solution to the energy crisis in Europe, said Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, Péter Szijjártó, after his meeting with his Cypriot counterpart, Ioannis Kasoulides, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday.
‘We need more gas to be delivered to Europe on more delivery routes. That’s why, instead of sanctions and instead of price caps, we want new sources to be involved in the European gas market and new delivery routes to be built, namely new pipelines and new LNG ports,’ said Szijjártó.
“And here, Cyprus I think can offer a big chance and a big opportunity for Europe. The big gas fields which have been found here in the zone of Cyprus can be a significant part of the solution to the energy crisis in Europe,” he added.
On his part, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides welcomed the level of solidarity of the EU towards Ukraine, “acting in unity based on our common principles and values of freedom and democracy through the specter of international law and human rights”.
As regards the Cyprus issue, Kasoulides said that the creation of the conditions for the resumption of the negotiations on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions is his “top priority”. Unfortunately, he added, all these efforts are hindered by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership who promote the international recognition of the illegal regime in the occupied territory of our country.
The Foreign Minister underlined that Cyprus is in urgent need of the solidarity and the support of the international community and our partners in the EU. “To this end, I thank our Hungarian friends for their support to our goal for the reunification of Cyprus and in particular for their tangible contribution in peacekeeping in our country through their participation in the UNFICYP”, he added.
Kasoulides pointed out that the Memorandum of Understanding in the fields of higher education and research, signed on Monday, and the one in tourism, signed a few days ago in Budapest, are the most recent examples of the enhanced partnership between Cyprus and Hungary that covers a wide range of issues.
He also expressed his satisfaction with the substantial growth in connectivity between Cyprus and Hungary through the increase of direct flights. He further added that he had “a frank exchange of views” with his Hungarian counterpart on “pressing issues of the European agenda”, such as immigration. “I underline once again the need for common European action as no single member state can face such immense pressures alone,” he concluded.
Answering a question about the steps taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in relation to the Turkish provocations in Denia village, Kasoulides said that a series of actions has been launched.
Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, said that the Hungarians are in the neighbourhood of the war in Ukraine, so all the impacts of the war are very severe, serious and immediate on them. He went on to say that “the sanctions -which in our understanding have failed- make our situation even more complicated and more challenging”. He pointed out that Hungary is faced with sanction-driven inflation and sanction-driven extremely high energy costs. That’s why Hungary wants peace as soon as possible.
The Hungarian FM stated that “Europe is being occupied by a rhetoric of war”, which “brings us even further from the hope of having peace in Ukraine at a certain point of time”. The longer this war lasts, the more the entire Europe will suffer and the more we are going to lose, because we are faced with tremendous challenges from the perspective of security, economy and energy supply as well, he added.
“Unfortunately, sometimes I have the feeling that it’s only a few of us who preserve common sense in this regard”, said Szijjártó, adding that Cyprus has not lost its common sense and it is possible to speak to Cypriots on the basis of mutual respect and rationality.
“The most serious challenge we are faced with now in Europe, caused by the war and sanctions, is the crisis of supply of energy. All those measures on behalf of Brussels or the member states which decrease the volume of gas on the European market will have the impact of further increased prices,” the Hungarian FM underlined.
That is why, he added, instead of sanctions and instead of price caps, we want new sources to be involved in the European gas market and new delivery routes to be built, namely new pipelines and new LNG ports. “And here, Cyprus I think can offer big chance and a big opportunity for Europe. The big gas fields which have been found here in the zone of Cyprus can be significant part of the solution to the energy crisis in Europe”, he added.
“That’s why the European Union, instead of thinking about sanctions and price caps, should find out how we can support the very quick start of exploitation of these gas fields and how we can support constructing new pipelines and new delivery routes to make sure that the gas which has been found here can be available for the European market. This would help”, Szijjártó pointed out.
The Hungarian Foreign Minister thanked the Cypriot Minister of Education, Prodromos Prodromou, for signing a Memorandum of Cooperation on the field of higher education, adding that he expected the number of Cypriot students in the Hungarian universities to increase. “We are happy to see that the number of Hungarian tourists travelling to Cyprus has increased by 70% compared to the last year before Covid and the number of flights between the two countries definitely helps us to further increase the number”, he stated.
Furthermore, he announced that, given the fact that 3,000 Hungarians live in Cyprus, Hungary has established a consulate in the island and it has made a decision to further expand its presence here.
Source: Cyprus News Agency