Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos referred to Cyprus’ longstanding support for the peaceful resolution of maritime disputes, in accordance with international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) during his intervention at the Indo-Pacific Ministerial Meeting held in Stockholm.
The minister participated in the informal meeting of foreign ministers of the European Union (Gymnich) as well as in the 2nd ministerial meeting of the Indo-Pacific, held in Stockholm on May 12 and 13 respectively.
During the all-day Gymnich discussions, the foreign ministers dealt with two issues, Ukraine and EU-China relations.
On Ukraine, a strategic discussion on the EU’s long-term planning on the issue took place, with foreign ministers having the opportunity to hold a separate exchange of views with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
In his intervention, Kombos referred to the unity shown by the EU on the issue of Ukraine, stressing that through it tangible measures and unprecedented support were shown to Ukraine. We must not allow there to be gaps or “blind spots” in this approach, as for example seems to be created on the issue of sanctions, where we are witnessing the attempt of third countries to circumvent them, he underlined.
The foreign minister stressed that Ukraine’s future lies within the EU, noting that this would need an ambitious, but necessary, reform programme in the country.
Kombos also referred to the EU’s multifaceted approach towards China, stressing that China is an important country in international affairs, but also an important trading partner for the EU. “Our approach to China must pass through a structured dialogue, which focuses on the issues that are important for the union, without lowering the bar in relation to European principles and values,” he said.
As part of the Indo-Pacific Ministerial Meeting, he participated in a roundtable discussion on security challenges in the region.
In this context, he referred to Cyprus’ longstanding support for the peaceful resolution of maritime disputes, in accordance with international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The dispute settlement mechanisms of the Convention provide the international community with the appropriate means to deal effectively with critical issues such as maritime safety, exploration and exploitation of natural resources and dispute resolution, he added.
On the sidelines of these meetings, Kombos held meetings with his counterparts from India, Japan, Indonesia and Singapore.