Cyprus, Greece, Israel, UAE in diplomatic first

1 min read

In a landmark meeting, foreign ministers of Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) gather in Paphos on Friday to hold their first-ever joint conference on regional ties.

Cyprus’ Nikos Christodoulides, Greece’s Nikos Dendias, Israel’s Gabi Ashkenazi, and UAE Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan will hold a two-day meeting in Paphos.

The UAE foreign minister will participate via video link. His representative at the in-person meetings will be Anwar Gargash, a former UAE state minister for foreign affairs who is currently the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin’s diplomatic advisor.

A first joint meeting of the four foreign ministers was made possible by the recent normalization of relations between Israel and UAE.

“It aims to capitalize on the prospects arising as a result of this development, for the further broadening of regional cooperation networks based on a positive agenda, to promote peace, stability and security in the wider region,” said a Cyprus Foreign Ministry statement.

“During the meeting, the participants will exchange views on a series of regional issues and matters of common interest, focusing on recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Gulf, and the situation in Syria, Libya and Yemen.”

The ministers will also hold broader discussions with the participation of their official delegations on targeted proposals for promoting cooperation between the four countries, such as managing the pandemic and its repercussions, economic cooperation, energy, tourism, and crisis management, and increasing exchanges of young people between academic and research institutions.

Christodoulides will also have bilateral meetings with his Greek and Israeli counterpart and the UAE minister’s representative.

On Saturday, the visiting ministers will have a joint meeting with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades in Paphos.