The continuous enhancement of Cyprus' relations with countries in its wider region (Middle East and Gulf), the active and effective participation on the European scene and the development of alliances within the European Union, and the development of relations as well as the expansion of the spectrum of bilateral and multilateral engagement with the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and other important actors in the international system, are the three main pillars of the modern foreign policy of the Republic of Cyprus.
Achieving the goals set within this framework, is pursued through the exercise of a multifaceted, polythematic foreign policy, which increasingly utilizes modern tools, such as economic, digital, cultural and educational diplomacy, to name but a few.
More information can be found in the tabs below, as well as in the sections entitled "Themes".
Paying due attention and respect towards its neighborhood, Cyprus has managed through its historically and especially through concrete actions in recent years, to develop excellent relations of close cooperation with its neighbours in the geostrategically imporant region of the Eastern Mediterranean.
The discovery of hydrocarbon reserves in the region, created a new situation and a dynamic that has led to the further strengthening of relations between countries as well as to the enhancement of the relevace of the Eastern Mediterranean. The energy resources in Cyprus' EEZ and in that of other countries of the region, decisively enhance the geostrategic role of Cyprus and the geo-economic importance of the region, offering, inter alia, new opportunities for collective actions on a wide range of issues.
In this context, Energy was used as a springboard to strengthen relations between the States in the region and as a tool for the development of multilateral cooperation mechanisms on a number of issues. With substantial contribution from Cyprus, mechanisms of trilateral cooperation and dialogue have been established between Cyprus and Greece, and countries including Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine. These mechanisms are used as channels for enhanced dialogue and as a basis for developing further multidisciplinary and multilevel synergies in fields such as security, energy, economy, trade, culture, education, etc.
The cooperation platform that has been created and the flexibility of action that distinguishes it, allows the elaboration of further thematic collaborations, engagement of new parties and the set up of new mechanisms, including the possibility of participation from other States and/or regional or International Organizations. The dynamics that have been developed could provide the foundation of a gradually evolving institutionalized regional integration, an important element of our medium and long-term vision and aspiration for the region. The establishment of a National Coordination Mechanism and the envisaged operation in the near future of the Permanent Secretariat for Trilateral Cooperation Mechanisms based in Cyprus, is an important step towards this direction.
The continuous evolution of the Republic's bilateral relations with its neighboring countries remains essential. It is in this context that, as the closest EU Member State to the region that enjoys excellent relations with neighboring countries and has a good understanding of this part of the world, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs seeks to place Cyprus as the obvious bridge between States and multilateral schemes of the region with the EU, thus highlighting the added value it can bring to play.
Our goal is also to use the experience gained from the development of regional cooperation for the purpose of further strengthening and expanding the relations and cooperation of the Republic with the countries of our wider geographical region, including the Gulf States.
The accession of Cyprus to the European Union (EU) was a milestone in the country’s history, upgrading its international status and offering a solid foundation on the basis of which it can take concrete initiatives at European and international level. Strengthening Cyprus' participation in the EU is one of its three overarching foreign policy priorities.
Our vision and main pursuit remains the establishment of a stronger EU with a more robust presence in the international arena, a Union founded and operating on the basis of equal participation and decision-making by the Member States, solidarity, unity and a fair burden-sharing.
Drawn from the experience accumulated from Cyprus’ EU membership, one of the main strategic goals set by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to enhance the consistent and strong presence and effective participation of the Republic of Cyprus in the EU. Such pursuit consists, inter alia, in safeguarding national interests by substantially contributing to European integration and by shaping European policies, on the basis of a comprehensive national strategy. Defending national positions at the European level requires first the coherence and consistency of the Republic’s sectoral/policy positions that are put forward in the EU institutions and working groups. The constructive use of Cyprus's participation in the EU strengthens its negotiating position and facilitates the creation of alliances and synergies with other MS for the effective promotion of our European and national interests.
In this context and on the basis of a Council of Ministers decision, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs proceeded in February 2019 with the establishment of the General Secretariat for European Affairs, as the coordinating body for European Affairs. With the same decision, the Council of Ministers set up a Ministerial Committee on European Affairs, chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to deliberate on strategic issues and major European horizontal policies.
Furthermore, our vision and goal for the EU also focuses on facilitating the EU’s enhanced role in the region neighbouring Cyprus where an even more active presence of the Union is desirable. In this framework and in view of the upcoming assumption of the Presidency of the Council of the EU by Cyprus in 2026 (following the successful holding of the first Cyprus Presidency in 2012) the Ministry aims to ensure a timely and effective preparation in order to guarantee the best results for the EU and Cyprus.
For more information, visit the "EU Affairs" thematic section, here.
Recognizing the fundamental importance and the need to defend the International Law system and the multilateral framework of cooperation that emanates from it, the Republic of Cyprus has become since early on following Independence an active member of many International and Regional Organizations.
Multilateralism constitutes the archetype of synergy, and as such guarantees the lawful functioning of the international system and safeguards the protection of the rights and fundamental freedoms of the individual. providing the most effective framework for addressing international challenges. Therefore, Cyprus, taking also into account the existence of the Cyprus question, attaches particular importance to the protection and promotion of the role of International Organizations in the context of global governance, which has recently come under question. Cyprus' position is that strengthening and protecting multilateral cooperation platforms is the only alternative to isolationism that can give rise to radical tendencies.
In this context, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs aims to strengthen the efforts made to secure the role and added value of the International Organisations as frameworks for enhanced cooperation and sets as its priority the stronger definition of the Republic's positions in international fora. It is against this backdrop therefore, that the protection of cultural heritage, cobating climate change, promotion of human rights, including the rights of women (gender equality) and other issues, have been placed at the forefront of our multilateral action.
Targeted development of bilateral cooperation is a necessary condition for preserving and promoting stability and development, but also a key parameter for upgrading the image and diplomatic standing of any State.
Investing in the relations developed by the Republic in the international arena, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs aims to further strengthen its bilateral ties through actions based on the added value of Cyprus in the region and its geostrategic role, whilst also taking into account always the Cyprus question.
In this context, Cyprus's relations with all the Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council have been gradually enhanced through the broadening of the agenda of bilateral discussions on issues that highlight the geostrategic importance of Cyprus and on the basis of the Republic's predictability and credibility as a partner.
Particular importance is attached to the Republic's relations with other important actors of the international system, such as Japan (where a Cyprus Embassy was established in 2019) and India, with actions aimed at strengthening bilateral relations, bringing into play the synergy mechanisms developed in the Eastern Mediterranean and the opportunities provided by EU Agreements with these countries in areas such as energy, shipping and tourism, to name but a few.