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21 May, 2024
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Paris supports dialogue on Cyprus issue

All topics discussed with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris meeting

Yiannis Ioannou

Yiannis Ioannou

President Christodoulides' visit to Paris to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron confirms the excellent level of bilateral relations between Cyprus and France. This official visit, which will conclude today at noon with a meeting with Total officials, provided an opportunity to discuss all issues of international and European interest. Paris actively supported the effort for more active involvement of the EU, particularly through mediation, to restart the talks.

During the meeting between Christodoulides and Macron, various issues were discussed, including energy in the Eastern Mediterranean, defense, education and economic matters, as well as migration. The French President made a special mention of the Cyprus problem, stating that they would also discuss the regional situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, particularly the Cyprus issue. The media reported that Macron acknowledged Christodoulides' commitment to finding a viable solution and expressed France's full support for this issue, both diplomatically and militarily, as it has done in the past when there have been threats of escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean in a military context. But there was no mention of the EU's role in mediation from the media's standpoint.

Macron's backing

The proposal made by Nicosia for active EU involvement in breaking the deadlock in Cyprus talks through the appointment of a special envoy has received a positive response from the French President. He has expressed his support for the proposal in principle. However, Paris, like other European capitals, appears to be conveying a message to Nicosia that any such European involvement must be based on solid foundations:

  • In timing after the Turkish elections of 14/28 May, so that the landscape for the next day in Turkey is clear - and relatively calm
  • A timeframe in which the work of the United Nations Security Council (France is a permanent member) has been completed following the discussion of the UN Secretary General's reports on the Cyprus problem (to be completed in July). A development pointing towards initiatives after September and the conclusion of the UNGA Plenary in New York
  • Clear terms of reference on the part of the EU for the appointment of a figure - always within the UN framework, provided there is eventually an appointment by the Secretary-General of a special envoy.

Energy and Security

Security, migration, and energy were the primary topics discussed by Christodoulides and Macron prior to the upcoming European Political Community meeting in Chisinau, Moldova, scheduled for June. The discussion was dominated by developments in Ukraine, which received great emphasis from the French President in his statements to the media.

Before departing for London to attend Charles' royal coronation, President Christodoulides will meet with senior officials of the French energy giant Total on Thursday, who have a significant presence in all the licensed blocks in the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The president will raise issues along two axes during the meeting:

  • - In relation to how Total will proceed, in the coming months, regarding the planning of the exploitation of the deposits found in block "6" and whether drilling will proceed in blocks "7" and "3"
  • - Regarding the possible reactivation of Turkey in the Cypriot EEZ in the coming months, and in particular illegal exploration within licensed blocks in the Cypriot EEZ

Finally, the two Presidents discussed the aspect of deepening the strategic relationship between France and the DRC, both bilaterally and within the EU, within the PESCO program. This includes participation in multilateral and bilateral French-Cypriot military exercises, as well as the arms issue. The discussion confirmed Paris' full support for Nicosia. According to K, this support will have news for the defense reportage in the coming months.

 [This article was translated from its Greek original]

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