Introductory remarks by Foreign Minister Dr Constantinos Kombos following his meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Jordan Mr Ayman Safadi
It is with great pleasure that I welcome in Nicosia the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, His Excellency Mr. Ayman Safadi.
Today, we had the opportunity to review our bilateral agenda and to exchange views on the situation in our region.
We both agree that, in the last decade, bilateral relations between Cyprus and Jordan have grown stronger.
Both sides are committed to deepen and expand our collaboration.
Areas like tourism, business, education and defence offer a fertile ground. One such example is the signing today of the Program of Cooperation in the fields of Education and Culture.
We are also following up on coordination in firefighting as per the initiative of His Majesty King Abdullah. Tangible results will be announced soon.
Jordan is a pillar of stability in the region. Recognising that, Cyprus strongly supports the strengthening of EU-Jordan relations. We will continue to do so.
Also, I assured Minister Safadi on our commitment to the trilateral cooperation between Greece, Jordan and Cyprus. To this end, we reviewed our planning for the next Summit at leaders’ level, which we will host in Nicosia in the second half of the year.
Moreover, we discussed a range of regional issues. As a stepping stone, we agree that any move that genuinely contributes to the stability of our area is, by definition, a very positive development.
In this context, I had the opportunity to hear Minister Safadi’s take on the situation in Syria. We discussed Jordan’s proposal for a “Joint Arab Peace Plan” for a gradual, step-by-step solution of the Syrian crisis.
Cyprus agrees that the status quo in Syria is unacceptable.
The ordeal of the people of Syria should come to an end. The refugees and internally displaced persons should be able to return in safety to their homes. A political settlement on the Syrian crisis should be found, in line with UNSC Resolution 2254, and without further delay.
Moreover, it is important to acknowledge and appreciate Jordan’s generous hosting of Syrian refugees. Over 1.3 million people have found refuge in Jordan. This is something for which the International Community must be more supportive and thankful.
With Minister Safadi we also exchanged views on the situation in Sudan and compared notes on respective evacuation efforts that have been executed in the last few days.
I expressed my appreciation for providing support in the evacuation of a Cypriot national just yesterday, during the extraction operation carried out successfully by the Netherlands. The Minister also mentioned today that if there any more Cypriots on the ground, Jordan is willing to try to evacuate them at this stage.
The situation in Sudan, notwithstanding the current ceasefire, remains of great concern. Both in terms of the humanitarian conditions in the country, but also for regional stability.
Minister Safadi also briefed me on two other issues.
Firstly, on the worrisome developments in the West Bank. I expressed the grave concern of Cyprus for the situation on the ground. I hope that all parties involved, act with prudence and restraint.
Secondly, on the perspectives for the relaunch of the negotiations in the framework of the Middle East Peace Process for the solution of the Palestinian issue.
I reiterated the support of Cyprus to the efforts to achieve a two-state solution and the establishment of an independent, sovereign, and viable Palestinian state, on the 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
I also underlined the unwavering support of Cyprus to Jordan’s custodianship of the Holy Sites of Jerusalem, which is vital for stability, and which should be fully respected.
Finally, I briefed Minister Safadi on the efforts of President Christodoulides for the resumption of negotiations for a comprehensive and viable solution to the Cyprus issue, in line with the UN agreed framework of a bizonal bicommunal federation, with political equality in line with the relevant UNSC Resolutions.
We will continue our efforts and we will work with our partners with that goal in mind.
Dear Ayman, welcome to Cyprus and I look forward to working closely with you.
26 April 2023