It is important that the USΑ no longer approaches the Republic of Cyprus on the basis of developments in the Cyprus issue or their relations with Turkey, Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said on Sunday.
He was commenting on the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell’s interview with daily Kathimerini, published on Sunday.
Christodoulides said that this is the first time that the US sends a clear message regarding the exercise of the sovereign rights of the RoC in its Exclusive Economic Zone.
Mitchell said that the US regards Cyprus as a western state that must be protected by western powers in order not to fall into the influence of others.
He also said that Turkey’s view as regards Cyprus’ EEZ was a “minority of one”, as international law states that Nicosia can exploit its resources in a just way.
Mitchell, just 24 hours after the Greece -US Strategic Dialogue that took place in Washington, said that the US view Greece, Cyprus and Israel as natural allies in the eastern Mediterranean region.
For the US, he said, deepening co-operation with these three countries was a natural step, and part of Washington’s strategy is to strengthen its role in the Mediterranean region. He also noted that the most natural way to do this is to increase their formal participation in the tripartite scheme and look for ways to do so within the next year.
At the same time, he expressed the conviction that the relationship with Cyprus must be cultivated and that the US is doing a better job than in the past in this direction. He also said that his country remains committed to finding a solution based on a bi-zonal bi-communal federation, noting that the US can not delay the natural co-operation process with Cyprus until the efforts on the island bear fruit.
Referring to recent contacts with Cypriot Foreign Minister, Nikos Christodoulides, Mitchell said the statement of intent signed, sends messages to many players in the region that the US is taking Cyprus seriously and plans to deepen their involvement there.
Mitchell’s statements are indicative of how the US see their bilateral relations with Cyprus, Christodoulides said.
“We are working together on the basis of a common approach which is not against any third country, on issues that we believe our cooperation can bring results in the Eastern Mediterranean, but also particularly on our bilateral relations,” he said.
“I think the message (sent by the US) regarding the exercise of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus in its Exclusive Economic Zone is clear, for the first time in such an explicit way,” he added.
Christodoulides said that it was the government’s responsibility to do all the necessary actions “and we continue to do it, so that the Republic of Cyprus’ energy plans can continue unhindered.”