FM Permanent Secretary held political consultations with French Foreign Ministry Secretary General
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Minas Hadjimichael, welcomed today in Nicosia the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France, Ambassador Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, for political consultations.
The meeting assessed the progress in the implementation of the Strategic Agenda signed by the Foreign Ministers in 2016, when the two countries focused on enhancing their relations through political dialogue, economic relations, education and culture and in the fields of defence and security.
Defence and security issues were discussed both in the context of bilateral cooperation, as well as within the EU context. Both countries participate in the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and seek to strengthen the Union's strategic autonomy, through a renewed security and defence architecture based on solidarity and mutual assistance between Member States in dealing with threats and protecting the citizens of the EU.
Common European challenges, such as migration, and possible initiatives to tackle the pressures faced by front-line countries, were also discussed. The importance of coordination of the MED 7 on this and other issues of mutual interest and concern, was reiterated. EU-Turkey relations were also discussed.
The Permanent Secretary informed his counterpart on current developments towards resuming the talks to resolve the Cyprus problem. In thanking France for its support of the efforts of the Government, Ambassador Hadjimichael underlined the importance Cyprus attaches to France, as a permanent member of the Security Council, especially in relation to safeguarding the presence of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus for as long as the Turkish occupation persists.
Mr. Gourdault-Montagne was briefed on regional developments, including in the field of energy, as well as on the progress made in trilateral cooperation mechanisms established by Cyprus, Greece and countries of the region and on the possibility of their sectoral enlargement with the participation of partners such as France. The situation in Syria and the prospects of achieving security and stability, were also discussed.
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