United Nations.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
Bilateral relations, Cyprus’ regional role and its participation in the fight against terrorism, as well as the Cyprus issue and energy matters were the issues under discussion in a meeting between Cyprus’ Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns.
On Monday Kasoulides had separate meetings with US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Diplomacy Amos J Hochstein.
In statements he made to CNA Kasoulides said that during the meeting with Burns the Cyprus issue was broached, adding however that the greatest part of the meeting focused on bilateral relations between the US and Cyprus and in particular as regards the role of Cyprus in handling developments in the region, on Syria, the Middle Eastern problem, Cyprus’ relations with Israel, Lebanon, Egypt etc.
“Cyprus’ principal role right now is its participation in the fight against terrorism, in combating trafficking of materials of weapons of mass destruction, organised crime, drugs and people trafficking”, the Cypriot FM pointed out.
These, he added were the main points of focus during our meeting, expressing the hope that the coming months will show the results of the improved relationship between US and Cyprus right now as a result of its role in the region which is been recognized.
Replying to a question as to what was discussed in reference to the Cyprus issue, Kasoulides said that the US has reiterated its readiness to help. It’s not something new, it is something known and we hope that the other side will respond that the talks can begin.
He added that it is necessary now for the two sides to prepare a meeting between the two leaders during which a joint declaration can be agreed, as well as a methodology to be followed in the negotiating process, so that it may be productive.
Asked about energy issues Kasoulides said that the matter was also discussed with Burns.
It is first and foremost Cyprus’ right to use the hydrocarbons within its Exclusive Economic Zone, he pointed out.
At the same time he referred to the role energy matters can play in cooperation with neighbouring countries and the motivation this could bring to the solution of the Cyprus problem both between the two communities and as regards Turkey.
The Cypriot Minister also had meetings, on Tuesday, with his counterparts from Kazakhstan, Guatemala, Iraq and Georgia during which ways to enhance bilateral cooperation were discussed.
During the meeting he had with Guatemala Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera, Kasoulides thanked him for his country’s support of Cyprus, in its capacity as a non permanent member of the UN Security Council.
He also participated at a high level meeting organised by France and Nigeria on innovative funding and growth mechanisms and an EU Foreign Ministers meeting.