Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Foreign ambassadors talk energy, bilateral relations

British High Commissioner Matthew Kidd

The Cyprus issue, bilateral and trilateral cooperation, and energy was discussed on Wednesday at a roundtable discussion between foreign ambassadors and representatives of overseas Cypriots in Nicosia.

The discussion was addressed by British High Commissioner Matthew Kidd, US ambassador Kathleen Doherty and Israeli ambassador Yael Ravia-Zadok.

Kidd spoke of the deadlock over security and guarantees that brought an end to Cyprus talks in Crans-Montana last month saying the UK’s position in that discussion was very clear “that we did not think that a military response was the right best way of addressing the concerns that the two communities currently have”.

“It was the first time when the two sides and the three guarantor powers spent significant time together looking at what the future of security and guarantees in a reunited Cyprus would look like and that exposure to each other in itself has changed the atmosphere, the network of relationships within which future work will have to be conducted, in a really important way,” said Kidd.

He rejected the notion that Britain tried to force the Cyprus government to accept free movement of Turkish citizens in Cyprus, post-solution. Kidd said that Britain’s role was “to support, not to lead, not to impose” and noted that only the two leaders had the responsibility to recommend to their people that an agreement is good enough.

US Ambassador, Kathleen Doherty said that during the talks there had been a lot of disagreements on many different elements.
Doherty said that the US continued to talk about Cyprus with the EU, London, Athens, Ankara and to raise the importance of Cyprus and of a potential solution here. “We still very much believe in a bizonal bicommunal federation as a US Government and we hope that in some way we can get the talks back on track,” she said.
On energy, Doherty expressed Washington’s satisfaction with the licensing of Exxon Mobil has to conduct explorations in Cyprus’ EEZ. “We hope there is a significant find here of gas, Exxon Mobil’s block is the one that is closest to the Zhor field in Egypt,” she said while reiterating that “Cyprus has the right to develop and exploit its EEZ”.
Doherty also said the US was pleased with the increase in trilateral cooperation among countries of the region.

Yael Ravia-Zadok, the Ambassador of Israel said bilateral relations were in a good place and that the trilateral cooperation went “far beyond statements and declarations”.
“There is a list of areas of cooperation that are translated to technical meetings, that we already held and are being planned to be held in order to develop this platform,” she said.

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