Nicosia relies on the interventionist role that the European Union and the United States of America can play in order to make its own gestures to the Turkish Cypriot leadership, which aim to find common ground for the resumption of talks. Ioannis Kasoulidis, after his contacts in Brussels, returns to Nicosia and on Sunday leaves for Washington on a trip that comes at a crucial moment for the Cyprus issue.
During his meetings in Brussels – with Josep Borrell and Oliver Varhei – the Foreign Minister referred to the gestures made and will be made by the Greek Cypriot side, aiming to create the right atmosphere for the resumption of negotiations, as requested by the UN Secretary General. . I. Kasoulidis stressed to the EU High Representative and the Commissioner for Enlargement that Nicosia expects the support of the European Union so that the new effort undertaken, with the promotion of MOE, can reach a desired result.
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For the Greek Cypriot side, the MOE is a step towards climate change so that both sides can achieve what the Secretary General requested, that is, to speak the same language.
The visit of I. Kasoulides to Washington next week in Washington is estimated by the Cypriot side to come at the right time to put the initiatives of the Greek Cypriot side in the Cyprus issue and before the US government. For Nicosia, the US factor remains particularly crucial, in order to pressure the Turkish side to make similar gestures seeking to find common ground for the resumption of talks. Supporting the efforts of the Cypriot government is the fact that in some issues, such as the case of the EastMed pipeline, I. Kasoulidis showed, with his public statements both before and after taking office, to move in the same direction with the State Department approach.
The invitation to travel to Washington is in no way related to the change in the Cypriot Foreign Ministry, as some circles in Nicosia have attempted in recent days, despite the statements of I. Kasoulidis that there is no question of changing the foreign policy of the current government. As “F” had written in the previous days, the processes for the visit of the Cypriot Foreign Minister to the USA had started a long time ago and the Americans were in contact and coordinated with Nikos Christodoulidis. Talks between the Cypriot and American sides last December had ended on the dates when the Cypriot Foreign Minister would visit Washington and hold talks with Anthony Blinken. Initially, the two sides discussed January and finally proposed February 1-2, the invitation was agreed and sent. An invitation which was received by N. Christodoulidis and handed over to I. Kasoulidis.
The next steps in the strategic bilateral agenda and the two countries' close co-operation on regional issues were discussed in a telephone conversation between Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Soukri, on Tuesday, the foreign ministry said.
Specifically, in a post on Twitter, the Ministry states in English that a “very warm discussion” took place between Mr. Kasoulidis and Mr. Soukri. “They discussed the next steps in the strategic bilateral agenda and close Cyprus-Egypt co-operation on regional issues, including the tripartite platform with Greece,” it added.
ELDERLY ATTACK AGAINST BLINKEN FOR EASTMED
In a joint letter sent to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, expatriate members of Congress Gas Bilirakis and Nikol Malliotaki expressed strong disagreement over the withdrawal of diplomatic support for the EastMed pipeline. The two MEPs speak of a move that undermines Europe's energy independence, recalling that the EU has made the pipeline a “crucial” project.
As they characteristically note, “by undermining the project, the (US) government is undermining three of our strongest allies in the region: Israel, Greece and Cyprus, as well as the European Union's hopes for energy independence and economic prosperity.” Europe is facing an unprecedented rise in energy prices, driven by many political, geographical and economic forces. An important reason for the spike in energy prices is the lack of gas. Despite Europe's decades-long push towards green and renewable energy sources, rising energy prices have ironically led to increased use of coal to meet demand. As gas is a cleaner energy option than coal, it is a critical energy source for governments seeking to move to greener energy sources. The European Union recognizes this and has declared the EastMed pipeline a “crucial project”.
Florida MP Gus Bilirakis called the Biden administration's actions on the EastMed pipeline unacceptable and hypocritical, as the US government has silently accepted Russia's Nord Stream pipeline. In fact, at this point he pointed out that this pipeline will further deepen Europe's energy dependence on Russia.
For her part, expatriate MP from New York, Nicole Malliotakis, spoke about the failed energy and foreign policy of the Biden government. As he pointed out, “this president is sleeping at the helm (of the country) and the decisions he makes can have serious consequences for the economy and national security of the United States and its allies.”