New York.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis/CNA
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be received on Saturday evening by President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades. According to diplomatic sources, the meeting will also be attended by Cyprus Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides.
The same sources said that it is not clear yet whether a bilateral agreement will be signed. They added that there does not seem to be any meeting between Pompeo and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
Pompeo, the sources said, will be received by President Anastasiades at 1930 local time. They added that the trip was organised last minute. Until now, no official statement was issued by the US State Department.
He will arrive to Cyprus on Saturday after a trip to Doha. He will stay on the island for three hours.
On Thursday, Pompeo said that he would be visiting Cyprus to seek a peaceful solution to mounting Mediterranean tensions and he was “catching up” on the cancelled scheduled visit in January 2020.
“I’m catching up. It’s also the case that the things that are taking place today in the Eastern Mediterranean are important and I want to have a chance to talk with the leaders there in Cyprus about their perspective, their objectives, the things they would like to do. The President’s been very clear and he’s asked – he’s spoken with President Erdogan, he’s spoken with Prime Minister Mitsotakis, and in each case he’s said this has to – the disputes, the maritime disputes have to be resolved in a way that is diplomatic and peaceful. And so I’ll be working on that project as well, trying to make sure that I understand the risks that are associated from the people of Cyprus’s perspective and take that on board as we continue to work on the challenges that the Eastern Mediterranean is presenting today. It’s something we’re very focused on. The Germans have done a good job trying to diplomatically get them to begin their conversations about how to proceed. We hope they’ll be real conversations and we hope the military assets that are there will be withdrawn so these conversations can take place.”
Commenting on the September 1st lifting of the embargo that aggravated Turkey, Pompeo stressed that the waiver – it was a long time coming.
“We’d been working on it for a while. It was consistent with American policy for an awfully long time. It was simply the right timing to actually make the decision. So we completed our analysis, we made sure that we considered every set of risks associated, and we quickly moved out from there.”