Christodoulides outlines three-pillar policy to MPs
Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides outlined to MPs the ‘three pillars’ on which Cyprus’ foreign policy is based
Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides outlined to MPs on Wednesday the ‘three pillars’ on which Cyprus’ foreign policy is based, which he said serve the ultimate goal of reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem.
Following the presentation of the ministry’s budget for 2019 before the House finance committee, Christodoulides said that “the country’s top goal would be to reach a solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of the relevant UN resolutions and EU principles and values.”
In the context of the first foreign policy pillar, which involves enhancing relations with countries in the Middle East and the Gulf, Christodoulides referred to a proposal adopted by the cabinet recently on the establishment of a permanent secretariat in Cyprus on the trilateral cooperation with Greece and other countries in the region.
The secretariat will be located close to the foreign ministry and will be staffed by diplomats from Cyprus, Greece, Israel and Egypt, he said, adding that the government intends to also invite Jordan to take part. A trilateral meeting between Jordan, Cyprus and Greece is due to take place in Cyprus on December 19, he added.
The Foreign Minister also informed MPs that Palestinians will also be invited to take part in the project, adding that a trilateral meeting at foreign ministry level is set to take place, on December 17, in Athens.
In view of the second pillar of Cyprus’ foreign policy, that of the country’s more active participation in the EU, Christodoulides said that “a European organisation should operate in Cyprus.”
The minister announced that a proposal is under study to establish a European affairs secretariat which would coordinate all different departments on European matters, aiming to enhance Cyprus’ active participation in developments in Brussels.
In view of the third pillar – Cyprus’ goal to enhance relations with the eastern Mediterranean region – the minister said that “we have started discussing with countries in the region the establishment in Cyprus, in four to six years, of a regional security and cooperation organisation for the Eastern Mediterranean, a move which is also viewed under a positive light by the EU.”
Referring to the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (Unficyp) the foreign minister expressed his belief that there will be no problem over its mandate being renewed in January, adding that the goal will be to enhance the force’s effectiveness in Cyprus.