November 23, 2017

The Minister of Foreign Affairs met with the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, in New York – 26/09/2012

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, met Wednesday, 26 September in New York, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Dr Philip Gordon. The meeting was also attended by the Ambassador of Cyprus to Washington, Mr Pavlos Anastasiades, and other government officials.
In her statements following the meeting, Dr Kozakou-Marcoullis said:
“I had a very good and friendly, as always, conversation with the US Assistant Secretary of State, Mr Philip Gordon. We discussed various issues for about thirty minutes, with special focus on the Cyprus problem, the developments and where the real obstacle is found.

I asked from both Mr Gordon and the US government to continue their efforts in order for Turkey to be convinced on the benefits that she will have from the solution of the Cyprus problem and from a reunited Cyprus. It is our hope to have the opportunity, as Cyprus, to explain all these benefits directly to Turkey. However, this channel of communication does not exist and we ask the United States, who can influence, to explain that a reunited Cyprus, and the resolution of the Cyprus problem, as well as our relations with Turkey and the issue of the hydrocarbons in the region, can be to the benefit of us all.

Turkey is an important factor in the area, as a transfer corridor of hydrocarbons and it definitely could be one of the options for the transport of natural gas to Europe and other areas.

The US is in a position to explain these issues to Turkey and help toward a shift in its way of thinking. Because, it appears that Ankara has toughened its stance, especially as a consequence of the role that it now plays in the Middle East.

Concerning the issue of hydrocarbons, Mr Gordon reiterated the US position, previously expressed at all levels, on the sovereign rights of the Government of Cyprus and on the cooperation that we have with Noble Energy, which we consider a significant relationship.
We also discussed the situation in Syria, expressing our concern about the situation in the area and our full support to the role of the new UN – Arab League Joint Representative for Syria, Mr Lakhdar Brahimi.

Cyprus is interested in a political solution to the problem. A military intervention would create an explosive situation in the area, which would not be to anyone’s benefit. The effort should be focused on the unification of the opposition, in order to secure the day after. And the new situation that will follow in Syria should represent all the people, with respect towards all the communities in the country. Otherwise, very unpleasant consequences could spill-over into neighbouring Lebanon as well, but also in other countries of the region.

As regards our bilateral relations, I believe there is very close cooperation in many fields, such as in countering terrorism, in the protection of the cultural heritage –a field on which a Memorandum of Understanding has recently been renewed with the USA– and elsewhere.

Mr Gordon acknowledged with satisfaction the statements made by our Government with regards to the killing of the American Ambassador and three other US diplomats in Libya.

On EU affairs, we continued the discussion we had begun with Mr Gordon, when he recently visited Cyprus, that one of the priorities of the Cyprus EU Presidency is Enlargement, particularly in the Western Balkans. I briefed him on my visits to four countries of the Western Balkans and on how we seek to assist in enhancing the accession perspective of these countries. There are already, some positive developments as regards Montenegro. Things have also progressed for Serbia and Albania as well.

This interest of Cyprus, which stems from the need for stability, peace and long-lasting prosperity in the region, and which can only be achieved with the accession of these countries in the EU, is being positively received by the USA.”