The Minister of Foreign Affairs participated in the 7th Regional Forum of the Union for the Mediterranean and the 4th EU-Southern Neighbourhood Ministerial Summit, which took place today in Barcelona, Spain.
The complications caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine were at the centre of the debate, particularly as regards the food sector as well as the energy supply of the countries in the region, and ways to effectively tackle them together were examined. In this context, the Ministers exchanged views on securing the future of the new generation, with a focus on the issues of research and innovation, participation in the labour market and the improvement of the socio-economic situation in the countries of the Southern Neighbourhood.
In his interventions, the Minister of Foreign Affairs focused on the further promotion of regional multilateralism, which has the potential to yield results at many levels, such as food insecurity and its consequences and migration flows, and he underlined the need to implement a policy of zero tolerance to its instrumentalization by some countries. Mr Kasoulides welcomed the Israel-Lebanon agreement on the demarcation of their maritime zones, while also emphasizing the importance of mutually beneficial regional synergies to ensure the energy security of our wider neighbourhood.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs also pointed out the importance of strengthening the role of the new generation and women in entrepreneurship and the labour market as well as in the decision-making process. Mr Kasoulides called for closer cooperation of the EU with the states of the Southern Neighbourhood by making full use of the existing channels with the Arab League and the African Union.
On the sidelines of his presence in Barcelona, the Minister of Foreign Affairs took part in an informal working dinner hosted by the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr José Manuel Albares Bueno for his counterparts. Additionally, he had separate bilateral contacts, among other, with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Morocco, Mr Nasser Bourita, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jordan, Mr Ayman Safadi and the Secretary-General of the Union for the Mediterranean, Mr Nasser Kamel.
Mr. Kasoulides will return to Cyprus tomorrow, Friday, November 25, 2022.