The Cyprus government has decided to take an active role in regional affairs with President Nicos Anastasiades attending the swearing in ceremony of Egypt’s new leader, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in Cairo on Sunday, to which a limited number of state leaders have been invited.
Cyprus aims to maintain very warm relations with its southern neighbour, primarily because of shipping links through the Suez Canal and the discovery of large natural gas deposits in Cyprus offshore waters, with Egypt keen to invest in upstream and and land-based facilities.
At the same time, Cyprus wants to revive the once-close relations when both nations were members of the non-aligned movement in the 1960s, while Cyprus’ overseas ties have recently deteriorated with the establishment of a common EU foreign policy chief, who seems to promote other interests than those of all 28 member states.
Government spokesman Nikos Christodoulides said that "the President is going to Egypt on Sunday, 8 June, in order to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new President of the country.”
He added that given the extremely limited number of foreign leaders that were invited – the leaders of the P5, of the Arab states, the country presiding the Council of the EU and the Republic of Cyprus – (the invitation) is considered as proof of the upgraded bilateral relations between Cyprus and Egypt, and the role that the Republic of Cyprus can play in the region.”
On the other hand, Cyprus does not want to ruin its commercial ties with Russia, but will send the president’s closest aide, Foreign Minsiter Ioannis Kasoulides to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko.
Kasoulides departed for Kiev on Friday, where he will represent President Nicos Anastasiades.
On Tuesday, the Cypriot Foreign Minister will depart for Athens, where he will participate in the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the EU and the member states of the Arab League which is organised by the Greek Presidency of the Council of the European Union. In the sidelines of the ministerial meeting, he will hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts from the Arab states.
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