25 March 2024 - Press Remarks by Foreign Minister Kombos following his meeting with the Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan

Press Remarks by the Minister of Foreign Affairs following his meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Mr. Murat Nurtleu

Astana, 25 March 2024

It is with great pleasure that I am visiting Astana and I would like to thank our host for the gracious hospitality.

Moreover, we also had a meaningful exchange of views on a range of bilateral and global issues. But before I refer to the content of our discussions, allow me to wish a Happy Nowruz to everyone celebrating this ancient tradition which provides an opportunity to appreciate blessings, and look forward to opportunities that the future brings.

Today, we had the opportunity to assess the level and depth of the bilateral relations between Cyprus and Kazakhstan.

Αt the same time, we explored ways we can further enhance and strengthen them. In this context, as I have already said, we had a fruitful, meaningful, and frank exchange of views on a range of issues. 

Firstly, we discussed the economic dimension of the relationship. We agree that there is untapped potential that needs to be fully exploited by expanding the scope of economic activity.  This is why, as we discussed, the organisation of another Forum between the business communities of Cyprus and Kazakhstan that will have a targeted audience on the basis of the identified sectors of priority is of great importance, as is the continuation of political dialogue at all levels, and the proposal for the establishment of an Inter-Governmental Committee.

Secondly, on connectivity issues. Reaching Kazakhstan was no easy feat. This is clearly a deterrence in terms of people-to-people contacts and is also affects Business to Business activity, as well as the tourism industry.

For this reason, a few minutes ago, Murat and I signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the aeronautical authorities of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the aeronautical authorities of the Republic of Cyprus.

This would enable the establishment of direct flight connection between our two countries and paves the way to conclude also an Air Services Agreement.

Thirdly, I informed the Minister about the latest developments regarding the Cyprus Problem. We stand ready to resume negotiations to reach a viable and lasting solution to the Cyprus Problem, on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, as provided by the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. We are at a critical juncture. The two state approach and rhetoric by the other side cannot be accepted. Not only by the Republic of Cyprus, but also by the international community as a whole. To this end, we are appreciative of Kazakhstan’s principled stand and dedication to the values of the law-based international community. I also briefed the Minister about the ongoing strategy of the other side to present the illegal secessionist entity as a part of the international community. We, the international community must not be misdirected: there is no other position than the full commitment to the UN Charter.
Fourthly, we discussed the worrying developments in our respective regions.  
In this context, I was briefed by the Minister as to the developments in Afghanistan. We heard Kazakhstan’s concerns and ways of improving a situation that unfolded rapidly in 2020.

At the same time, in the Middle East, the principles of humanitarianism and human dignity are currently being tested, with tragic civilian casualties that increase daily and with terrorism and the use of hostages.

Finally, as regards the EU, Cyprus reiterates the emphasis on the enhancement of EU-Kazakhstan and EU - Central Asia relations. For that we will continue to work together in close coordination, guided by the core shared values I referred to earlier.

Dear Murat,

I would like to thank you, once again, for your hospitality and warm welcome here in Astana. I look forward to welcoming you to Nicosia.
Thank you.