The USA attributes particular importance to Cyprus and Greece, FM says

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides, estimated that the new US administration is particularly interested in the region of Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkan Peninsula. In this context, he added, Greece and Cyprus represent for the USA two important countries, capable to address the challenges emerging in the region through specific collaborations.

In an interview on the National Greek Television (ERT), referring to the meetings he had in the USA, Minister Christodoulides said that there is a particular American interest in the tripartite cooperation that Greece and Cyprus have developed with all their neighboring states. He also underlined that the US administration is examining its participation in these collaborations, especially on the topics of security and of energy security, which are also linked with issues of maritime security.

Minister Christodoulides explained that the US participation in these collaborations will be discussed in December, during the forthcoming tripartite meetings.

As for Turkey’s provocations, Minister Christodoulides said Cyprus should not take part in a public debate which helps Turkey’s attempts to contest the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and to create the impression of grey zones in the Eastern Mediterranean. It is important that we continue to act in a way that assures the unobstructed continuation of our energy planning, said Christodoulides.

He also referred to the statement made by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, after their meeting in Washington, in which “the USA explicitly reiterated its position that the Republic of Cyprus has the right to deploy its energy planning.

Concerning the Cyprus Issue, Christodoulides said that the UN Secretary-Generals Special Envoy for Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute is in the middle of an ongoing effort. He also expressed optimism about the resumption of negotiations, based on what President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and Lute had discussed recently.

Christodoulides said that Lute will soon visit Cyprus again to meet with the other interested parties and to define the terms of reference, named as such by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

Source: Cyprus News Agency