The President of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides announced plans for further talks with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, and other key leaders from the EU and the United States. These discussions are centered on the Republic of Cyprus’s initiative to establish a maritime humanitarian corridor to Gaza.
Speaking today at the 11th Energy Symposium, President Christodoulides stated that the government’s primary focus is on the humanitarian aspect. To support this, the Republic of Cyprus will facilitate a maritime humanitarian corridor from its ports to Gaza. He plans to hold talks this afternoon with the Prime Minister of Israel, heads of EU institutions, and the US to discuss the implementation of this initiative.
He mentioned that Cyprus is increasingly serving as a secure transit point for repatriating individuals, positioning itself as an essential security provider in the region and signaling its potential role in energy cooperation.
During his speech, President Christodoulides mentioned the conference is occurring during EU discussions to break away from Russian natural gas while also emphasizing the opportunity for Southeastern Europe to become an energy corridor for Europe.
With a high level of speakers, the President stated that this annual gathering, organized by the Energy Institute of South East Europe and fmw financial media way, has become an institution that actively promotes energy issues.
Today’s conference will delve deep into the energy sector, considering its geopolitical and economic dimensions and interconnectedness with other sectors. The President mentioned the war in Ukraine and the situation in our neighborhood, which remains of utmost international importance.
President Christodoulides stated that his focus is on the evolving regional and international landscape and its impact on our country and the government’s stance on its broader plans to strengthen our nation.
“The war in our neighborhood and recent developments in the Middle East challenge the notion of frozen conflicts and emphasize the unstable environment we face as a small EU nation defending our vital interests,” he explained.
He emphasized that Cyprus continues to be the bridge of peace and cooperation between the states and peoples of the region, maintaining excellent relations with them. Simultaneously, he stressed that leveraging its EU membership and implementing specific initiatives, the country seeks to serve as a stable center, addressing primarily humanitarian challenges. “By taking such actions, we aim to showcase our potential in energy cooperation within the region and contribute to the development of South-East Europe and the South-East Mediterranean as an energy corridor for Europe,” the President stated.
The President underlined that the government’s top priority is the humanitarian aspect, stating that Cyprus is prepared to help establish a sea corridor from its ports to help Gaza.
During the European Council, Christodoulides informed the EU Heads of State about the proposal. He had already briefed the President of Egypt and the Prime Minister of Israel on the same day. Additionally, the Cypriot Foreign Minister discussed the initiative with the Israeli Prime Minister and various EU and US institutions after visiting Jordan and Palestine.
Addressing the challenging circumstances, President Christodoulides assured that our country is actively preparing to fulfill a vital role in the humanitarian aspect. He stated Cyprus is now a safe passage for returning citizens from diverse countries. “By taking such actions, our nation is becoming a stronghold of security and stability while also signaling its potential to contribute significantly to energy collaboration in the Southeastern Mediterranean and the Middle East,” Christodoulides added.
During his speech, the President highlighted the government’s successful foreign policy actions, which have led to the establishment of an energy forum in Cairo. This achievement was unimaginable a decade ago and involved the participation of regional countries, including those represented at the UN. Despite the current crisis, the President emphasized the importance of the Republic of Cyprus and its ongoing initiatives.
President Christodoulides emphasized the need for the international community to handle a highly intricate situation because of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and current events in the Middle East. According to him, a recent European Council discussed the economic impact, particularly in the Eurozone. He also mentioned that inflation and the energy crisis made it tough for households and businesses.
The President stressed the importance of taking cautious actions in the current situation and prioritizing fiscal responsibility. He said that a cohesive plan and non-populist actions will help the Cypriot economy overcome its present difficulties. The government closely monitors developments in various sectors, such as the economy, energy, tourism, shipping, migration and security, he said. Their assessments are updated weekly to ensure prompt and effective actions to tackle any challenges that may arise, according to the President.
The President underscored that despite the situation’s complexity, the Cypriot economy remains strong. The recent upgrade by Moody’s to investment grade presents an opportunity to attract high-quality investments and generate new employment.