11 Feb. 2021 - FM Christodoulides: Together we create the narrative of synergies, partnerships & a common vision for a region that will prosper

Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus Mr. Nikos Christodoulides at the Press Conference of the "Philia Forum"

Athens, 11 February 2021

[Video of the Statement, as delivered in Greek, is available below]

It is with great pleasure that I participate in today's meeting with my esteemed counterparts from like-minded states.

I would like to warmly thank the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, my friend Nikos, for the hospitality.

The fact that we are physically present at today's enlarged meeting, in the midst of a pandemic, manifests the importance we all attach to the synergies that have been put on track and the commitment we show to enhancing regional cooperation with a sole goal: consolidating conditions of security, cooperation, peace and stability on the basis of a positive approach without restrictions, without exclusions and without zero-sum approaches.

The unprecedented crisis of the pandemic has highlighted both the importance of connectivity, and the interdependence among countries, while, at the same time, further demonstrating the significance of regional cooperation. I think we all agree on the obvious, that no country alone can tackle the enormous economic, geopolitical and other challenges we are face with.

In this context, today we exchanged views on a number of issues that concern the participating countries and consequently concern the wider region and all of us. I listened carefully to my distinguished colleagues and shared with them our analysis on a number of regional and other issues. It is our common belief that it is only through partnership that the problems and the individual conditions of instability can be managed, and that full advantage can be taken of the region’s potential.

I want to reiterate in the clearest way that both our actions and the enlarged meetings that we hold, regularly, are not a zero-sum game, nor are they aimed at excluding any country. On the contrary, they are open to all countries that wish, on the basis of a positive agenda, to assist in deepening cooperation and, consequently, peace in the region. This is evidenced by the growing number of participants.

Concluding, I would like to welcome the commitment of all colleagues in the direction of continuing and further enhancing our cooperation. I firmly believe that regional problems and regional challenges require to be resolved by the region itself. At the same time, while confrontations, problems and conflicts are the hallmark of the prevailing narrative internationally regarding our region, the countries of the region through cooperation create an alternative narrative: that of synergies, partnerships and common vision for a prosperous, continuously developing region with  stability; a region resolving any problems and differences on the basis of dialogue, and always within the framework of international law and the need for good neighborly relations, away from any approaches that are reminiscent of other times and aim at imposing solutions outside the realm of Diplomacy and International Law.