The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ioannis Kasoulides, had a meeting today, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lefkosia, with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Nasser Judeh, in the framework of Judeh’s visit to Cyprus.
The two Ministers had a tête-à-tête meeting, followed by official talks of the delegations of the two countries. The two Ministers also attended a commemorative event for the late Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to Jordan, Petros Eftychiou. Then, Ministers Kasoulides and Judeh made statements to the Press. During the meeting, Mr Kasoulides had the opportunity to brief his Jordanian counterpart on the developments in the negotiation process for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. At the same time, the bilateral relations, the way ahead for a trilateral cooperation of Cyprus, Greece and Jordan, as well as other international and regional issues of common interest were examined. Later today, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the two countries will inaugurate the new Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Lefkosia.
On the sidelines of the visit of the Jordanian Minister, two bilateral Agreements were signed. One is the Agreement between the Governments of Cyprus and Jordan on the Abolition of Visa Requirements for Holders of Diplomatic and Service Passports, and the other the Programme for Cooperation in the fields of Education and Culture for the years 2017-2020.
Speaking to the Press after the signing of the Agreements, Minister Kasoulides, upon welcoming Mr Judeh, referred to the friendly relations between Cyprus and Jordan, to be reconfirmed with the official inauguration of the Jordanian Embassy in Lefkosia. “This is another concrete proof of the closeness of relations between Cyprus and Jordan”, Minister Kasoulides noted.
As regards today’s meeting, Minister Kasoulides said that a range of bilateral issues was discussed, following up the visit of His Majesty King Abdullah to Nicosia last September. Regional and international issues were also examined, “where our convergence of opinion proves the potential for enhanced cooperation between moderate and like-minded countries, like ours, in the region”.
“I also informed Minister Judeh that Cyprus will support the Tarabot Community Center, a project undertaken by the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization as it faces increasing refugee flows, with an added contribution of €10.000. Cyprus will continue to assist Jordan, in order to address effectively these challenges and strengthen its resilience”, Minister Kasoulides added.
On the EU-Jordan relations, Cyprus Foreign Minister welcomed the EU-Jordan Partnership Priorities 2016-2018, to be signed in Cairo next week.
“The Hashemite Kingdom is also a pivotal peace partner in the efforts to resolve the Middle East Peace Process. It has never ceased to deploy efforts and play a prominent role in promoting peace and security in the area and beyond, under the wise guidance of His Majesty King Abdullah. We have exchanged views on recent developments on this issue and examined how conducive conditions could be created in order to restart the process”, Mr Kasoulides underlined.
Regarding the Cyprus problem, Minister Kasoulides had the opportunity to brief Minister Judeh on the recent development, while the way ahead was reviewed for the trilateral cooperation between Cyprus, Jordan and Greece in a more concrete way.
On his part, the Jordanian Minister expressed his pleasure for his visit to Cyprus and thanked his Cyprus counterpart for the very warm welcoming. “Minister Kasoulides and I are always in consultations whether by phone or when we meet in international events and fora, but the face-to-face contacts are extremely important. We have promised to each other to continue. This is only a natural outcome of the special relations we have”, Mr Judeh said.
He added that today’s visit is held as a follow-up on the extremely important visit by His Majesty the King a few months ago and his meeting with President Anastasiades. Also, he referred to the conclusion and signing of the two agreements, which will strengthen the bilateral relations. “We are extremely proud of the relations we have with Cyprus historically, politically, economically, socially and practically. We want to do everything to our power to enhance these relations further. We value Cyprus’ contribution in this part of the world and, of course, Cyprus’ extremely important role within the EU and the international stage”, he underlined.
As regards the trilateral cooperation, the Jordanian Minister noted that with Minister Kasoulides have laid the foundation for the trilateral cooperation between the two countries and Greece, expressing the hope that there will be a Ministerial Meeting as soon as possible, leading up to a Summit and more substantive discussions.
Moreover, the two Ministers had the opportunity to discuss the political developments in the region. “We discussed the situation in Syria, the ongoing conflict and the humanitarian disaster that is taking place under the eyes of the entire world. I reminded Minister Kasoulides Jordan’s firm belief that for what we are seeing every day in Syria, there is no humanitarian solution to the crisis; there is a political solution that will end the humanitarian tragedy, hopefully, and lay the foundation not just for the physical reconstruction of Syria but also the political reconstruction that is required”, Minister Judeh stressed. He added that Jordan, when serving as a Non-Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, initiated several resolutions regarding the humanitarian situation, namely Resolutions 2139, 2065, 2191 and 2258. “These are all Security Council’s resolutions that address the core issue of the humanitarian situation in Syria and also ensuring the entry of humanitarian convoys. Since these resolutions were adopted, directly from Jordan, we have had 2.300 humanitarian convoys entering Syria. We were part of the humanitarian airdrop campaign and on the 9th of this month, there was a General Assembly meeting and a resolution to address the humanitarian situation, not just in Aleppo, but everywhere in Syria. We will continue working together towards reaching a political solution in Syria”, he said.
Jordanian Foreign Minister referred to the discussion on the developments in the region in general, the political process in Iraq and the battle for Mosul, the ongoing conflicts in Libya and Yemen and of course the essential and core issue of the Palestinian-Israeli process and highlighted the commitment “we all have to make to continue our efforts to bring about negotiations that will lead to the implementation of the two states solution, where there is viable, continuous, independent Palestinian state and security for all the populations of the Middle East”.
As regards the relations of the two countries, Mr Judeh expressed his pride for the opening of the new resident Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Lefkosia, saying that it is “a dream that has come true for us here and something that is a natural extension of the special relationships that exist between Jordan and Cyprus. We now have a resident Ambassador, we have a resident Embassy, and our discussions will continue in a more institutional way, but certainly on the bilateral level between Minister Kasoulides and me”.
Finally, on the Cyprus problem, the Jordanian Minister was briefed by Minister Kasoulides on the latest developments and the commitment of the two leaders to reach a conclusion to these negotiations. He also stressed that “we look forward to the meetings in Geneva in January with great expectations and hope”./IBNA