Statements by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ioannis Kasoulides, following his meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, Mr Nikola Selakovic
Dear Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia,
My friend Nikola,
It is a great pleasure to welcome you today in Nicosia.
Since the beginning of the year, we have held already three meetings, two at the level of Ministers and one between the State Secretaries. This is by itself proof of the excellent level of our dialogue, our mutual commitment to further consolidate our relations and the high level of trust between our two Ministries. Given the situation in the wider region, in Europe and beyond, this meeting is indeed very timely.
Allow me to start by expressing our gratitude for the principled positions of Serbia on the Cyprus Problem and the constant support to the process that will eventually lead to a peaceful solution, on the basis of the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
At the same time, I would also like to publicly state what I have said during our meeting, in reiterating the position of Cyprus on the issue of non – recognition of Kosovo.
During the meeting I also had the opportunity to update Minister Selakovic on the latest developments on the peace process in Cyprus and in particular the set of Confidence Building Measures that our side has put forward.
At the same time, I had the opportunity to elaborate on the threats we are faced with, both on the ground, with the recent provocations in the fenced city of Varosha, but also in the sea, after the announcements on behalf of Turkey for new exploration drillings in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus.
Regional and international developments where at the center of our discussions today. These developments are driven by the consequences of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. During the meeting, I had the opportunity to explain the position of Cyprus, stemming from our full adherence to the rules of international law and the need for respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states.
The situation in the Balkans has also been an important part of the agenda. The political environment in the region became very fragile in the last years and a spark is more than enough to set the region on fire, as yesterday’s incidents in Mitrovica have demonstrated. We sincerely wish that the crisis will be resolved by diplomatic means, ensuring the wellbeing of all the inhabitants of the city. This confirms, once again, that the only viable way to ensure long-term stability and prosperity in the region, is the European integration.
The recent decision of the EU to open accession negotiations for North Macedonia and Albania, is a positive step in the right direction. We are looking forward to swift progress in the accession negotiations of the countries of the region, including of course of Serbia. At the same time, we have to realize, that also we in the EU, have to be more convincing that we indeed mean business, and that the countries of the region will eventually be able to join the Union. Unfortunately, this has not always been the case. In this regard, Cyprus is committed to working closely with our partners in the EU, and also with our friends in the region.
Thank you very much once again for being here today. The true friendship between our two countries and our people is a strong foundation, upon which we have built solid cooperation in multiple fields.
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