Washington, DC.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
Senate Foreign Relations Committee moved without a vote the confirmation of the Ambassadorial Nominee Jonathan Cohen to the full Senate, where he is expected to receive an easy approval. The Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Jonathan Cohen was nominated by President Trump to be the Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations.
Following his testimony at the Committee hearing on May 9th, Cohen replied in writing to questions concerning Cyprus, submitted by tanking member Senator Robert Menendez.
Asked on the role the Security Council should play in addressing Turkey’s belligerent actions in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean Sea, including Turkish naval efforts to obstruct hydrocarbons exploration in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, Cohen said:
“If confirmed, I will continue to support longstanding U.S. policy recognizing the Republic of Cyprus’s right to develop its resources in its EEZ. The island’s oil and gas resources, like all of its resources, should be equitably shared between both communities on the island in the context of an overall settlement. I will discourage any actions or rhetoric that increases tensions. It is important that the countries in the region continue to create the conditions that will facilitate peaceful economic development and enable companies to operate in a stable and predictable environment. If confirmed, I will urge the Security Council to send the same message.”
On UNFICYP, Jonathan Cohen said that he will urge the Security Council to continue to review all peacekeeping missions through the prism of the U.S. peacekeeping principles.
Asked about the Administration’s priorities with respect to the Eastern Mediterranean and its bilateral relationship with Cyprus, he said:
“Stability in the Eastern Mediterranean is a top priority for the Administration. If confirmed, I would be willing to take steps to enhance the relationship between the United States and the Republic of Cyprus. I will continue to support the high-level U.S. engagement with the Republic of Cyprus on the settlement process and on the wide range of other issues of common concern to both countries.”