China closely follows developments in the Cyprus issue and supports its efforts to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity, Foreign Minister of the People`s Republic of China Wang Yi, who concludes today an official visit here, has said.
In statements after a meeting with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, the Chinese FM said he looks forward to a mutually acceptable solution of the Cyprus problem on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
The two Ministers discussed the deepening of bilateral relations, with Wang saying that they could cooperate in infrastructure, hydrocarbons, tourism, ports and agricultural products. Kasoulides said that Cyprus supports China`s initiative for the Silk Route and looks forward to concrete prospects of cooperation. He also said that Cyprus submitted an application to become a regional member of the Asian Infrastructure and Development Bank.
Welcoming the Chinese official to Cyprus, Kasoulides said that he was briefed in the morning by the Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on the Cyprus talks and they underlined the crucial role of the UNSC in the implementation of a solution.
Kasoulides pointed out that China follows with great interest developments in the Cyprus problem and thanked his Chinese counterpart for China`s principled stance on Cyprus` territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The two Ministers also discussed EU – China relations, Syria and other regional issues.
In his initial statement to the press, Wang Yi said that his visit to Cyprus aims to deepen the mutual political trust which defines the relations between the two states as well as the promotion of practical cooperation. He stressed Cyprus` strategic geographical position
Referring to the Cyprus issue, the Chinese FM said his country, as a permanent UNSC member state, follows developments in the Cyprus peace talks and supports the efforts of the Republic of Cyprus to retain its sovereignty and territorial integrity. China, he said, will continue playing a positive role at the UNSC.
As regards bilateral cooperation, he said that China is ready to discuss cooperation in the maritime sector by contributing to the upgrading of the Cypriot ports, as well as the development of industrial areas around the ports.
Wang said that other fields of cooperation could be infrastructure and hydrocarbons, as well as tourism. Referring to the latter, the Chinese Minister said that this year, 120 million Chinese tourists traveled abroad, noting that if only 1% of them visits Cyprus, then the island could receive 1,2 million additional tourists.
He added that the last sector of cooperation could be agricultural products such as olive oil, wine and milk products.
Replying to a question whether the Republic of Cyprus would provide facilities for Chinese warships, Minister Kasoulides noted that “Cyprus’ ports are open and Chinese warships are welcome to approach our ports. I recall that during the operation on the chemical weapons in Syria, a Chinese warship was docked here, being part of the escort of the merchant ship.”
Finally, in relation to the role that the Security Council could play in case of a solution of the Cyprus problem, Foreign Minister Kasoulides noted that his Chinese counterpart listened with great interest President Anastasiades’ views about the role of the Security Council in the adoption, as well as the monitoring and implementation of the solution. “I believe there is understanding on behalf of China, but the final outcome, will be subject to consultation among the Permanent Members of the Security Council”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs concluded.