The Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cyprus, Ioannis Kasoulides, participated in the work of the Foreign Affairs Council (EUSR), which took place Monday in Brussels. The main items on the agenda were the latest developments in the Middle East and the situation in Iraq.
On the margins of the Council’s work, an informal working breakfast was held at the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EU Member States with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, discussing developments in the region, focusing on the Middle East Peace Process. The Foreign Minister welcomed the informal breakfast with the Israeli Prime Minister, stressing that dialogue is always important. Kasoulides supported the further strengthening of EU-Israel relations in areas such as countering terrorism.
In the debate on the situation in the Middle East, Kasoulides welcomed the recent announcement by Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Al-Hariri, that he had withdrawn his previous resignation. Hariri’s decision, he noted, restored the uncertainty that prevailed in Lebanon from the day he submitted his resignation. He also stressed that security, stability and unity in the country had to be safeguarded, while referred to the importance of strengthening state institutions in the context of a “policy of detachment” from regional conflicts.
On the situation in Syria, he reiterated the priority that must be given to the promotion of the Geneva process and a political solution that meets the expectations of the entire Syrian people.
Finally, in an intervention on Iraq, the Foreign Minister noted that while the operations against Da’esh continues, the main challenge remains the reconstruction, as well as the reconstruction of the country’s political, economic and social fabric, in a comprehensive manner to ensure a stable and secure state in the interests of the entire Iraqi people. Referring to the new EU Strategy in Iraq, Kasoulides noted that it is expect it to be released at the beginning of next year for discussion and adoption at the Foreign Affairs Council in January.
Finally, the EU Foreign Ministers held a working lunch with the G5 Sahel Foreign Ministers (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Chad, Mauritania) during the Summit. In the lunch the ministers discussed the situation in the region and exchanged views on joint actions and further cooperation to promote peace, security and development in these countries”./IBNA