FM Permanent Secretary concludes Washington visit

Cyprus-US bilateral relations are deepening and expanding on all levels, Alexandros Zenon, Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Cyprus has said after talks in Washington.

Zenon concluded on Friday a series of contacts with officials from the State Department, the National Security Council and the Pentagon, while also meeting with members of the US Congress.

This was the first visit of the Foreign Ministrys Permanent Secretary to the US since 2011.

On Friday, Zenon met with Justin Siberell, the State Department’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism, with whom he discussed operational matters and issues of bilateral cooperation in countering asymmetric threats and terrorism.

With Fiona Hill, the Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council, the Permanent Secretary discussed developments in Cyprus, Russia and Iran.

At the Pentagon, Zenon met with Kenneth Handelman, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, discussing mainly bilateral and regional issues. The two men also talked about bilateral defence cooperation in search and rescues missions in the Mediterranean, as well as counter-terrorism on ISIL.

The Permanent Secretary highlighted, among other issues, the importance that a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades would have in enhancing bilateral relations. The last such meeting took place in 1996, in the White House. Since then, successive Presidents of the Republic of Cyprus met several times with the leaders of all the remaining permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Source: Cyprus News Agency