Southern EU countries are better placed to know the situation in the Mediterranean, therefore they can and must play a substantial role in resolving the region’s challenges, House President Demetris Syllouris said on Wednesday.
Cyprus has chosen the path of cooperation and of constructive coordination, having in mind peoples’ prosperity, Syllouris added. He was speaking during the opening of the 3d meeting of the Heads of Delegations of “Group Med” countries to the Inter-parliamentary conference for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), hosted by the House of Representatives, in Nicosia.
Syllouris also referred to the common challenges Mediterranean countries are faced with while noting the instability and continuous fighting taking place in recent years. He said, moreover, that two world views pit against each other in the region, one advocating confrontation, intervention and the use of violence and the other favoring cooperation, progress, prosperity, and peace.
“Two world views pit against each other in the region, one advocating confrontation, intervention and the use of violence and the other favoring cooperation, progress, prosperity, and peace.”
The first approach is followed by Turkey, as the interventions in Syria and more recently in Libya show, Syllouris went on, adding that Cyprus and the rest of the countries taking part in this meeting advocate the second approach.
Despite the Turkish invasion and occupation and Ankara’s continuous threats regarding the exclusive economic zone (e) of the Republic of Cyprus, Cyprus is constantly working in favor of peace and stability in the region, the President of the House said.
He also referred to the cooperation, Cyprus is developing with regional countries, as well as the trilateral cooperation schemes it is promoting with Greece and a number of countries from the Middle East.
“There are already some positive samples of this coordination, which led to the inclusion of several references about refugee and migrant flows.”
Marinos Sizopoulos, Head of the Cyprus Delegation to the Inter-parliamentary conference for the CFSP and the CSDP, also took the floor and referred to the need for coordination among “Group Med” countries as a result of the lack of Mediterranean issues on the Conference’s agenda and the unequal treatment of issues pertaining to the Southern dimension of EU foreign policy.
He said that there are already some positive samples of this coordination, which led to the inclusion of several references about refugee and migrant flows, as well as Turkey’s interference in the EEZ of Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean in the conference’s Conclusions.
Consolidating the cooperation among the delegations of the “Group Med” countries is proof of our common will to highlighting the Mediterranean dimension of EU foreign policy, he said. According to Sizopoulos, the meeting will provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and look into the possibility of forming common positions ahead of the summit in Zagreb, later this year.