Cyprus will devote a large part of its foreign policy focus on boosting and enhancing Cypriot-American relations, in all possible fields, President Nicos Anastasiades has said.
Anastasides was speaking late Friday at the annual dinner of the Cyprus Federation of America in New York. This year`s honoree was the American Jewish Committee, in recognition of its support to Cyprus.
Addressing the event, the president referred to bilateral relations with the US, the Cyprus issue, hydrocarbons, as well as relations with Israel.
In his speech the Anastasiades said 2014 had been a particularly important year for Cypriot-American relations. He specifically referred to the visit to Cyprus in May by US Vice President Joe Biden, whom he met with in New York earlier on Friday.
“The visit of Joe Biden, someone I feel honoured and privileged to now call a friend, was a milestone in our new, dynamic, and strategic relationship with the US, and proof, that the reorientation of our foreign policy is already bearing fruit. With Joe Biden, we spoke about Cyprus’s strategic realignment with Western institutions and security structures, its role, as the last outpost of the western alliance in an increasing tumultuous and violent Eastern Mediterranean, as well as its potential contribution to the energy security of Europe,” he said.
He said the government would devote a large part of its foreign policy focus in boosting and enhancing ties with Washington. “In that, as always, we count on your cooperation and support, your important contribution, and your network of relationships and alliances both inside the Congress, as well as the Administration, to move this relationship to another level, he told the US diaspora.
Referring to the American Jewish Committee, which was honored during the dinner, Anastasiades said that the AJC had worked tirelessly to advance ties between Cyprus, Israel and the United States, “mutually beneficial to our countries and peoples, and of immense significance in an ever changing Near East”.
The AJC had been pivotal in promoting and contributing to the enhancement of our partnership with Israel on all levels, political, economic, cultural and strategic, he said, adding that with its significant influence in world affairs as well within American politics, the AJC “has consistently and tirelessly supported the full restoration of the human rights and the fundamental freedoms of the people of Cyprus, and the just resolution of the Cyprus problem”.
He also spoke about the enhanced relations between Cyprus and Israel.
“In Cyprus, Israel recognises and can count on a stable and predictable partner, one that will consistently deliver on issues of bilateral concern, but also one that can represent the Israeli viewpoint as well the country’s needs and perspective to the outside world, especially within the EU. Cyprus stands ready and willing to work towards further expanding our relationship to Israel,” Anastasiades said.
Referring to the substantial hydrocarbons deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean and within Cyprus` and Israel`s Exclusive Economic Zones. He said the discovery, could play “a positive role towards peace and stability in our troubled region”, beyond the substantive and promising prospects for bilateral cooperation.
“In the model of the European Coal and Steel Community, our energy perspectives and cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean, can form the catalyst for resolving our long-standing and seemingly intractable problems through a different perspective: that of economic cooperation and interdependence in exploiting and procuring our energy wealth,” he said.
In his earlier meeting with Biden, according to a White House statement, Anastasiades and the US Vice President agreed on the need to further strengthen the strategic partnership between the United States and Cyprus.
It said Biden and Anastasiades discussed the potential contributions Cyprus could towards a settlement of the region`s energy security and agreed that unifying the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation would be in the best interest of all Cypriots. (CNA)