The US acknowledge Cyprus’ role in security concerns in the region, says Spokesman

The government considers significant the fact that the US acknowledge the role of the Republic of Cyprus to provide security in the region, Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides said on Friday.

Speaking after President Nicos Anastasiades met with US Deputy Assistant Secretary Cohen, the Spokesman also said that it is up to Turkey to solve the Cyprus problem if it wants to become involved in the energy dialogue that is underway in the region.

The Spokesman described the meeting between Anastasiades and Cohen as excellent during which security and defence issues were mainly discussed. He added that there was an exchange of views on the cooperation which the Republic of Cyprus maintains with France, Germany and Italy.

The Cyprus problem was also discussed and the need to properly prepare so that a new conference on Cyprus will yield positive results.

He said special significance is also attached to the forthcoming meeting the Greek Prime Minister will have with the Turkish President in Athens next week during which the issue of security and guarantees will be examined. Christodoulides said it is a common view that the impending meeting of the Greek President with the Turkish President is significant and that there will be concrete results.

The Spokesman said they also discussed bilateral relations with particular emphasis on economic and trade relations following the President of the Republic’s visit to Washington in June. There is a desire for further action to strengthen our economic relations, he said.

“We also discussed energy issues, taking into account the energy planning of the Republic of Cyprus and all that will be done in our EEZ in the immediate future,” he added.

Asked if the Cyprus issue is affected by energy planning, the Spokesman said that the Republic of Cypruss energy plans

are not subject to a decision by any third country and this is reflected in developments. Our energy planning continues as normal.

Turkey, he said, “is absent from the energy debate that is under way in our region, precisely because of its illegal presence in Cyprus, and it is up to Ankara, if it really wants to take part in the ongoing dialogue on these issues, to proceed with the solution of the Cyprus problem “.

In his remarks, Cohen said he was delighted to be back in Cyprus.

We had an excellent conversation about the state of our relationship. I was very glad to have the chance to see the President, he added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest round of UN-backed negotiations, in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, ended inconclusively in July 2017.

Source: Cyprus News Agency