Press release regarding the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the informal video conference of the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Nikos Christodoulides, participated today in the meeting of the Council of Foreign Affairs of the European Union, which took place via video conference.
Speaking under the current affairs item, Mr. Christodoulides briefed his European counterparts on the upcoming informal conference on Cyprus convened by the UN Secretary General in Geneva for April 27-29. In view of the conference, he called on his counterparts to convey to Ankara the unequivocal European position that Turkey's meaningful and substantial contribution to achieving a solution within the agreed framework of the bi-zonal bi-communal federation (BBF), which will be fully compatible with the European acquis, is a precondition for the adoption of a positive agenda in EU-Turkey relations.
The Foreign Minister noted that the goal of our side, as well as of the entire international community, including the EU, is the resumption of substantive talks from where they left off in Crans Montana, with the sole aim of resolving the Cyprus issue on the basis of the agreed framework, whilst also highlighting the need to make use of the acquis of the last negotiation process. Furthermore, he pointed out that it is paradoxical for Ankara to insist on strengthening its relations with the EU, whilst at the same time being among those who deny the EU's participation in the processes aimed at resolving the Cyprus issue.
Referring to the upcoming informal conference, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mr. Josep Borrell, briefed on the latest conversation he had with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, to whom he expressed his full support in efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem, on the basis of a BBF, conveying the EU's position that any approach that goes outside the agreed solution framework cannot be accepted by the EU and reaffirming the EU's desire to participate in the whole process. He noted that the results of the upcoming meeting in Geneva are crucial for the future of EU-Turkey relations and for decisions to be taken by the EU at the June European Council.
Under the same item on the agenda, the Foreign Minister also briefed on the deliberations and outcimes of the first joint meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Cyprus, Greece, Israel and the United Arab Emirates held in Paphos, on April 16-17. He pointed out that, the desire of the countries of the region to cooperate in addressing common challenges and to seize the opportunities that may exist through the strengthening of dialogue, based on a positive agenda, emerged throughout the discussions that took place. He also conveyed the desire of neighboring countries to strengthen their relations with the EU, noting the role that Nicosia and Athens can play towards this direction.
Within this context, Mr. Christodoulides addressed an invitation to the High Representative to participate in the next meeting of this formation, which the latter accepted, recognizing the strategic importance for the EU of the wider Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East and Gulf region, and by extension the importance of efforts to enhance stability, security and cooperation in this region.
During today's Council meeting, issues pertaining inter alia to the latest developments in Lebanon, Georgia, Mozambique and Myanmar were also discussed, and views were exchanged on the situation in Ethiopia and Ukraine.