MONDAY, 19 FEB 2018



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Kasoulides Satisfied With Participation in Newly Formed EU PESCO

Kasoulides Satisfied With Participation in Newly Formed EU PESCO

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and the Minister of Defence Christoforos Fokaides signed, on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus, the Joint Notification of the Member States, on their intention to participate in the Permanent Structured Defense Cooperation in the European Union (PESCO).

The Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, welcomed the fact that the defence cooperation of the Member States is being developed and strengthened even more with PESCO. He also expressed Cypriot readiness to contribute to this program by improving security at the Union`s southeastern border.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Defence were in Brussels for the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council, which discussed EU-Africa relations, EU`s Strategic Communication and the implementation of the Permanent Structured Security and Defence Cooperation, as well as cooperation with NATO in the presence of Secretary General Stöltelberg.
The Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, intervening during the debate on the issue of the analysis of hybrid threats with NATO, noted that the EU should only examine autonomously certain hybrid threats coming from southern states. He wondered whether Turkish President Tayip Erdogan`s threat that if Europe does not give him what he is asking for, he would launch a wave of refugees to Europe, could be considered a hybrid threat and therefore one should consider how Turkey should be judged, the Cyprus News Agency reports.

With regard to cooperation with NATO proposed by some partners, the Minister stressed that NATO is using hard power while the EU is mild. Lastly, by making a nominal reference to Turkey and the imprisoned Turkish journalists, he noted that not all NATO member states are sharing the principles of the EU.
Furthermore, according to the agenda, the progress made in the second year of implementation of the EU`s Global Strategy on Defence and Security has been the subject of a joint dinner of Foreign and Defence Ministers.

Consequently, conclusions were adopted at the Council, on how to implement the EU`s Global Strategy on Security and Defence.

It is worth noting that in his speech on EU-Africa relations, the Foreign Minister made reference to the failure of African states to make the most of their capabilities, notably in terms of managing their natural wealth.

This is due to structural shortcomings in terms of good governance and the rule of law, resulting in a vicious circle of violence, political instability, corruption, etc. He has also stressed the need for the EU to work with African partners to break this vicious circle.

At the same time, he referred to the common challenges, with particular emphasis on the migration, and stressed that these can be addressed more effectively, with better coordination between the EU and African states. He also referred to the importance of reproductive health, which directly affects the demographic and is therefore directly related to migratory issues.

Finally, during a discussion on the issue of Strategic Communication, Kasoulides welcomed the works of the EastStratcom team, highlighting the need for geographical balance and strengthening the southern team. "We must also take into account the internal dimensions of communication, in order to face the disappointment and disbelief of our societies vis-à-vis the EU," he noted.


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