10 Jan. 2022 - FM Christodoulides: Cyprus and Kuwait share similar historical experiences and resolute commitment to principles of UN Charter & International Law

Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nikos Christodoulides, following deliberations with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs of the State of Kuwait, Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah

Nicosia, 10 January 2022


It gives me great pleasure to host today the visit of my esteemed colleague and dear friend, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait. Excellency, dear Ahmed, a very warm welcome to you and to all the members of your delegation, to Cyprus.

The conditions imposed on all of us by the pandemic make travelling a lot more complicated, therefore I am all the more grateful to Ahmed for his visit, which is testament to the historic ties between our countries, and reflects our shared determination to drive relations forward to an even higher level.

To this end, we have had very substantial and constructive discussions today, following up also on the deliberations we had during our last meeting in the margins of the UN General Assembly, last September.

Indeed, ties between Cyprus and Kuwait go all the way back to the independence of both our countries. Cypriots remember with appreciation the generous support of Kuwait to the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus and to reconstruction projects undertaken in the aftermath of the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974. There are clear affinities between our two countries, based on our similar historical experiences, as well as on our shared, resolute commitment to the principles of the UN Charter and international law and to the importance of good neighbourly relations.

The signing of the two Memoranda of Understanding a few minutes ago, one on the establishment of a Joint Committee and one preventing the illicit trafficking of cultural property, are a tangible manifestation of the political will and commitment of both our governments to elevate bilateral ties and cooperation to new heights, for the benefit of the peoples of our countries and of our broader region as a whole.

Within the same context, we also talked with Ahmed about the prospects of welcoming more students from Kuwait in our universities, about the benefits from establishing frequent political consultations and we discussed ideas for generating new momentum in our trade, economic and investment relations, including through the export of traditional products like halloumi.

Dear friends,

We all know that geography is destiny. As the EU Member State closest to the Middle East and the Gulf region, we have in recent years made the enhanced engagement with all countries of our region ― both at the bilateral but also on a minilateral and multilateral level ― a top priority and a core pillar of Cyprus foreign policy. Our efforts in this direction are inclusive and are always guided by a positive agenda of shared interest and synergies. I note with satisfaction that these principles are very much shared and form a central tenet of Kuwait’s outlook as well.

Against this backdrop, we have also exchanged views today with Ahmed on a number of regional issues, such as the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Yemen, the situation in Afghanistan and the prospects of a political transition in Libya. Kuwait’s assessment on these topics is highly valued, particularly in view of its current presidency of the Arab League Council and its active role within the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Cyprus has been long advocating for closer EU engagement with all countries and multilateral organizations of the wider Middle East and Gulf region which, as I always underline, forms an important part of the EU’s neighbourhood. As we keep seeing in practice, time after time, European security and stability is interlinked with developments in this region.

As you may expect then, EU-Kuwait relations also featured prominently in our deliberations. I reiterated our position that these ties are crucial in our joint efforts to successfully address the common challenges before us and I have assured Ahmed that Kuwait can continue to rely on support from Cyprus in efforts to further enhance its bilateral cooperation with the EU, including the country’s inclusion in the visa-waiver programme. In the same vein, I am particularly pleased that the Minister has accepted my invitation for him to attend a working breakfast with EU Foreign Ministers that will be hosted by Cyprus, in the margins of the upcoming Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union, on January 24th. This will provide an excellent opportunity for Kuwait’s perspective on a number of issues to be heard in Brussels.

Ladies and gentlemen,

On my part, I also had the opportunity to brief Ahmed on the latest developments in relation to the Cyprus problem, following on from the relevant discussion earlier with President Anastasiades. I pointed out in particular that Turkey’s provocative activities both on land, in relation in particular to the fenced area of Varosha, and at sea, within the EEZ of Cyprus, are not only unlawful but also have a negative impact on international efforts led by the UN Secretary General to reach a solution through the resumption of negotiations aimed at reuniting the island on the basis of the agreed framework, as set out by the relevant UNSC resolutions, and in line with International and European Law.

Whilst reaffirming our own readiness and commitment to continue to engage constructively towards the achievement of this goal, I expressed our sincere appreciation to Ahmed for Kuwait’s steadfast support in these efforts.    

Dear Ahmed,

In closing, I would like to thank you for your visit today, for your friendship, as well as for the excellent cooperation we have had over these past few years, which I am very pleased to note has served to bring our countries and our peoples even closer than ever before.

Thank you.




Photos ©PIO, Stavros Ioannides