Nikos Christodoulides, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, gave the inaugural lecture for the newly established PRIO Middle East Centre on Wednesday 27 November.
The lecture was entitled ‘Effective Multilateralism for Regional Stability: Cyprus’ Vision for the Eastern Mediterranean region’. In his lecture, Christodoulides laid out the present-day challenges to multilateralism in the Eastern Mediterranean region, and he presented the vision of Cyprus for overcoming these challenges. The Minister emphasizes a regional approach to effective multilateralism – using the term minilateralism – carrying great promise for building peace and security in the region. Within minilateralism, working in various trilateral partnerships – as when Cyprus engages in processes with Greece and Israel, with Greece and Egypt or with Greece and Lebanon – plays a major role. Christodoulides also highlighted how Cyprus is uniquely well-placed in pursuing such a vision, as both a member state of the European Union and a country that is geographically and politically close to the Middle East. Hence, the various trilateral partnerships which Cyprus engages in can bring the EU and the region closer together.