Newsroom / CNA
Oslo views Cyprus as an extremely important partner in the region, due to its bridging role between Europe and the Near East, said Ine Soreide, Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In a visit to Cyprus on Friday, Soreide met with her Cypriot counterpart, Nicos Christodoulides.
In statements after the meeting, Christodoulides said that “we touched upon a broad array of issues, ranging from bilateral cooperation in fields including human rights, energy and tourism, to issues that are of European, regional and international interest, as well as on our cooperation within the framework of multilateral organisations.”
They also exchanged views on EU-Norway relations, as well as on a number of regional issues of mutual concern, Christodoulides went on.
Christodoulides visited Oslo last November and today’s meeting at the Foreign Ministry, in Nicosia, was the third time the two Ministers have met over the past six months.
The Foreign Minister of Cyprus said that he briefed his Norwegian counterpart on the latest developments with regard to Turkey’s escalating provocations in the greater Middle East region, with particular reference to the latest illegal activities in Cyprus’s EEZ, which, he said, are contrary to international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
“These illegal actions by Turkey are regrettably also detrimental to the efforts of the UN Secretary General to create an environment that is conducive to the resumption of negotiations” Christodoulides stressed.
Christodoulides finally thanked Soreide for accepting an invitation to be one of the keynote speakers at the event ‘Women in Diplomacy’, which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is organizing later in the day.
Ine Soreide said that with her Cypriot counterpart they increased the scope of their bilateral cooperation, along with their cooperation through the EU and multilaterally.
Norway’s Foreign Minister said she just visited Saudi Arabia, Israel and Palestine and had the opportunity to "exchange notes" with Christodoulides on regional developments, especially the American proposal on the Middle East and the dynamics it has created in the region.
“Keeping a very close contact would be important in the coming weeks and months” she added.
Soreide added that Cyprus is an extremely important partner in the region for Norway, both because of its role as a bridge between Europe and the Near East, as well as due to the island’s good track record of maintaining a healthy dialogue with other partners.
“I also want to commend you for presenting your first draft national action plan on women peace and security” Soreide said, noting that this is “a milestone” and an area where they want to engage closely with Nicosia.
According to the Minister, Norway and Cyprus have a close bilateral relationship, with one important facet being the Norway grants, worth €11.5 million for the current program period.