Nicosia, 14th September, 2012. UfM Secretary General Sijilmassi held talks with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, and some Cypriot high level officials. The Cyprus-UfM relations, the activities and projects of the UfM, the new Action Plan of the UfM Secretariat for 2013, as well as the Cyprus-UfM cooperation in the framework of the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU were among the issues of discussion during the meeting.
“As a multilateral partnership, bringing together a myriad of public and private sector bodies, the Union for the Mediterranean remains indispensable to the promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in a region of strategic interest to the EU”, said Foreign Affairs Minister Kozakou-Marcoullis. And she further added: “I expressed our full support towards the Action Plan of Union for the Mediterranean which will certainly allow the Secretariat to achieve tangible results and further develop its capabilities”.
From his end, Secretary General Sijilmassi explained that: “The main thrust behind the UfM is to implement very concrete projects that have a meaningful and significant impact in the region”. He gave four examples: the Gaza desalination project which will give access to drinking water to 1.7 million people; the Maghreb highway connecting Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia; the Euro-Mediterranean University in Fez, Morocco; and projects on renewable energy.
Both parties described the UfM as “an important institution” bringing southern and northern neighbors of the Mediterranean together in a “unique framework which can promote dialogue and contribute to the socio-economic development of the southern countries”.
Within the framework of this working visit, Secretary General Sijilmassi also participated at the 12thECOFIN/FEMIP Ministerial meeting, organized by The European Investment Bank (EIB), in collaboration with the Republic of Cyprus, on Friday 14th September. The meeting was attended by a great number of high-ranking officials and Ministers of Finance.