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Cyprus

Diplomatic mission to be opened in Saudi Arabia (updated)

Cyprus intends to open a diplomatic mission in Saudi Arabia, the government said on Tuesday. In an announcement it also welcomed the move by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to accredit an ambassador to the Republic of Cyprus, based in a neighboring country.

Also, it said President Nicos Anastasiades, responding to an invitation by the King of Saudi Arabia, was expected to visit the country. The date of the visit will be set through the diplomatic route, the statement said.

Observers see the move by Cyprus to open a diplomatic mission in Saudi Arabia as politically significant at a time when so many European countries are downsizing and consolidating their embassies due to austerity.

“It is significant,” said one analyst. “I think the biggest reason behind it is the fear of recognition of the TRNC by Saudi Arabia.”

The analyst said if Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots were to achieve this it would be a coup and it could lead other Arab states to follow suit.

There may also be a question of the ongoing fight against the Islamic State in the region. “It could be ISIS related but for Cyprus it would more likely be connected to the Cyprus problem but the reasons are not mutually exclusive,” he said.

Cyprus currently has an honorary consul in Jeddah.

 

 

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