FM outlines Cyprus’ foreign policy pillars during lecture in Athens

Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides outlined, on Wednesday, the main pillars of the country’s foreign policy as it has been formed after the presidential elections in the country last February, and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades’ re-election.

Addressing an the event at “The House of Cyprus” in Athens, under the title “The Cypriot foreign policy: thoughts and reflections Christodoulides spoke thoroughly about the initiatives the government intends to undertake in the foreign policy sector and about the reforms which should be immediately adopted.

The Foreign Minister elaborated on the various past initiatives aiming to reach a settlement of the Cyprus problem. Proposals and solutions put forward, he said, derived from the state of affairs in the international environment and served the geopolitical interests of international actors.

Foreign actors had a crucial impact on the content of the solution plans proposed since 1974, when Turkey invaded the island, Christodoulides noted.

It was in this context, he said, that Nicosia and Athens reached the decision for the submission of the Republic of Cyprus application to join the European Economic Community.

At the same time, Christodoulides pointed out that despite the fact that the Republic of Cyprus became a full member of the EU, something which has been the greatest achievement of the Cypriot and Greek diplomacy, it was not possible from the beginning to make the most of the country’s EU membership even in the efforts to solve the Cyprus problem.

This served as the starting point of a new philosophy of the Cypriot foreign policy that was decided in 2013 when President Anastasiades was elected as President of the Republic for the first time, he noted.

A new effort of reshaping the Republic’s international image started, aiming to regain its credibility and to upgrade its international status that was hit from the economic crisis at the beginning of 2013, he said.

The Republic of Cyprus is in 2018 approached from a different perspective at both regional and international level, Christodoulides noted.

Cyprus, he said, has become a pillar of stability and security in the region and is approached as a credible and predictable partner that promotes security in a region of instability.

The new foreign policy has been shaped on three pillars, the Foreign Minister said: upgrading Cyprus relations with the neighbouring states, actively participating in EU affairs and upgrading the countrys relations with all UN Security Council permanent member states.

Christodoulides further stressed, among others, that the solution of the Cyprus problem continues to be the top priority of the Republic of Cyprus’ foreign policy.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Repeated UN-led efforts to reunite the island have not yielded any results yet.

Source: Cyprus News Agency