Statement to the Press by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nikos Christodoulides, following his deliberations with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Mr. Ayman Al Safadi
Amman, 16 May 2021
Thank you, dear Ayman. Good afternoon everyone.
I would like to start by thanking my distinguished colleague and dear friend Ayman, for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to us here in Amman, as always. As you already know, Ayman and I maintain regular contact and communication, and my visit here today is part of our open and rich bilateral coordination.
I am particularly pleased that my visit coincides with celebrations for the centenary of the Hashemite Kingdom. I wish therefore to extend also in public our most heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to the Kingdom, and to our sisters and brothers in Jordan, for peace and sustained prosperity in the years and decades to come.
Over the past century, Jordan has drawn on the long and proud history of its people, to become a true pillar of peace, security and stability for the broader region, earning universal respect and recognition for the positive role it plays in regional affairs.
Today’s deliberations provided an excellent opportunity to hold an in depth discussion on our bilateral partnership, which is going from strength to strength. We reviewed the entire spectrum of our bilateral cooperation, and exchanged views on the next steps that lie ahead in our determined efforts to further enhance our excellent ties.
Unfortunately, as Ayman has already mentioned, our meeting also coincides with the dramatic escalation of violence over the past week in Palestine and Israel. Naturally, therefore, a significant part of our discussion was devoted to these alarming developments, which deeply concern us. The loss of lives, particularly amongst the civilian population, is deplorable and we agreed with Ayman that every effort should be made to secure an immediate, lasting ceasefire.
During our discussion, we exchanged views on particular steps that are required to de-escalate the current crisis. Regrettably the current situation is also taken advantage of by third countries to promote their own agenda, and this is unacceptable. Needless to say, Cyprus - as a country of the region maintaining excellent relations with neighbouring countries, and as an EU Member State - supports any initiative that aims at restoring calm and therefore preventing further casualties. We concurred with Ayman, that once de-escalation is achieved ― and we really hope this can be achieved soon ― the international community, must act swiftly, in a purposeful and decisive manner towards the resumption of the peace process track between Palestinians and Israelis.
If there is to be an end to the vicious cycle of violence in the Middle East, this can only be achieved through a comprehensive and lasting peace settlement, based on a two-state solution and on the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
I wish to also reiterate publicly what I have already said to my good friend and colleague Ayman during our meeting, and that is, the importance we attach to respecting and upholding the status quo of the Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem under the Hashemite Custodianship.
As you might expect, my visit also provided an opportunity for me to brief Ayman on the latest developments regarding the Cyprus problem, and our disappointment for outcome fo recent meeting in Geneva.
Ι reaffirmed our readiness and commitment to continue to engage in negotiations for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, based on the agreed framework for a bi-zonal-bi-communal federation, as provided for by the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.
I seized the opportunity to thank Ayman, once again, for Jordan’s continued and unwavering support in our efforts to reunify Cyprus. There is a shared understanding that geography is a constant, it does not change, and it is up to countries of the region to make our geography a blessing, to make our region a region of peace, stability and prosperity.
Lastly, we had the opportunity with Ayman to exchange views on the current state of affairs in EU-Jordan relations. Jordan is a key partner for the EU in the region in many ways, predictable and reliable, and as such we will continue to actively support the enhancement of its ties and relations with Europe. Myself and my colleagues in the look forward to an open, fruitful discussion with Minister Safadi at the upcoming Gymnich meeting in Portugal.
As the closest EU Member State to the region, geographically, we aspire for Cyprus to continue to act as a bridge with the EU, not only for Jordan but for the entire region, consistently making the case for the region’s importance from the perspective of Brussels. At the same time, we shall continue to advocate for the EU’s need to be present, engaged and active in this part of the world, which is after all the EU’s own neighbourhood, and one of great geostrategic importance.
Once again, my dear Ayman, thank you very much.