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Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Republic of Cyprus Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos Before Their Meeting

Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Republic of Cyprus Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos Before Their Meeting

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Good morning, everyone.  It’s a great pleasure to have my friend Constantinos Kombos, the foreign minister of Cyprus, here today at the State Department.

This is an important moment in the relationship between the United States and Cyprus.  We will be announcing and initiating a strategic dialogue between our countries.  The first will take place this fall in Cyprus.  I think it’s very powerful evidence of the strengthening, the deepening, the broadening of the relationship between our countries, acting together in so many different areas.

Of course, the maritime corridor in Gaza is a prominent example, but if you look at what we’re doing in terms of trade, in terms of science and technology, in terms of security, in terms of education, in terms of people-to-people ties, you see a partnership, a relationship that’s growing stronger, that’s growing deeper.  And it’s a reflection of the fact that Cyprus is an important player in the region and a partnership for the United States that we deeply value.  So I’m so glad to have you here today as we work on actually practical ways of deepening this partnership and launching the strategic dialogue.  Welcome.

FOREIGN MINISTER KOMBOS:  Mr. Secretary, dear Tony, thank you for the invitation, for the warmth, for the hospitality, and also for your kind words.  In these troubled times, your leadership is critical, and you personally have been leading the way.  This is a very important day for our two countries.  The announcement for the establishment of the strategic dialogue is a very important development, and of course with that comes a responsibility.

We are moving forward in order to create a structured dialogue, a dialogue that is going to be intensive, and that’s for the benefit of our people of our two countries.  We share common foundation – our core values; our respect, commitment to democracy, to the rule of law; our opposition to aggression and to revisionism.  And upon those we stand together, whether that’s in Ukraine or in relation to other places where we have such incidents.

At the same time, Cyprus is a credible, predictable partner for the U.S.  And in a very complicated region, the message is very simple:  Cyprus is part of the solution.  Cyprus is part of the answer.  It is through this lens that five decades of occupation of Cyprus by Türkiye should be approached.  And on that, we count on the support of the United States.

Dear Tony, thank you very much, and I look forward to continued discussion.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you so much.  Thanks, everyone.

Official news published at https://www.state.gov/secretary-antony-j-blinken-and-republic-of-cyprus-foreign-minister-constantinos-kombos-before-their-meeting/

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