18 July 2022 - Participation of the Foreign Minister in the EU Foreign Affairs Council

Participation of the Foreign Minister in the EU Foreign Affairs Council

Brussels, 18 July 2022

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ioannis Kasoulides, participated in the EU Foreign Affairs Council, which took place today in Brussels. The discussions focused on the latest developments in relation to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, while the Foreign Ministers also discussed the EU's relations with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. The ministers also exchanged views on the EU-Israel Association Council, the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sri Lanka, while a discussion on Digital Diplomacy took place over a working lunch.

Speaking during the debate on Ukraine, the Foreign Minister stressed that since the start of the Russian invasion, the EU has acted in unity and has shown strong resolve, putting pressure on Russia to abandon this unjustified war, while at the same time providing support to Ukraine to develop capabilities so as to defend itself against Russian aggression. The EU stands by Ukraine, underlined Mr. Kasoulides, pointing out that many initiatives are being taken to provide practical support to Ukraine in terms of economic, humanitarian and military aid, but also for the country's recovery and reconstruction. In this context, the Minister of Foreign Affairs also referred to the proposed new package of "compliance and alignment" measures against Russia, expressing Cyprus' readiness to complete the examination of the new proposals as soon as possible.

During his intervention, Mr. Kasoulides also referred to what he said was an important Conference on Accountability in relation to the war in Ukraine held recently in The Hague and expressed his support for the proposal by the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs to declare the city centre of Odessa UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In the context of a discussion on the prospect of convening an EU-Israel Association Council, the Minister of Foreign Affairs reiterated the position of Cyprus on the importance of convening the EU Association Council with Israel in the near future.