Greek FM urges Washington to protect Cyprus’s rights

Greek FM urges Washington to protect Cyprus’s rights

Cyprus was on the agenda at a meeting in Washington between Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell. Kotzias also met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Kotzias said he discussed the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East with both Pompeo and Mitchell, and “underlined the necessity to safeguard security and stability in the region.”

“I referred in depth to Turkey’s behavior and the need to support the Republic of Cyprus and its rights internationally, because Cyprus should not be regarded as just a ‘problem’ of the UN but as a sovereign state with specific roles and potential in the region,” Kotzias said.

Turkey is trying to block Nicosia from exploring for energy in the East Med and has brushed with Greece in the Aegean.

Spokesperson Heather Nauert said Pompeo and Kotzias “agreed to establish a US-Greek Strategic Dialogue on key areas of cooperation.”

“The Secretary commended Greece for its leadership role in the region, including efforts to address challenges in the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean,” Nauert said.

She added that they agreed “to work closely together in coming days to ensure stability of the Eastern Mediterranean.”

Kotzias will travel to New York to meet UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday.

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