U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Palmer visited Greece to participate in the ongoing Delphi Economic Forum IV, which is hosted in the city of Delphi from Thursday 28 February until 3 March.
The U.S. senior ranking official initially referred to ExxonMobil’s drilling operations in Block No. 10 of Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The Assistant Secretary of State urged all stakeholders involved in Cyprus to show restraint and reiterated the necessity of warring counterparts to reach to a mutually-acceptable solution based on the existing U.N. framework for peace deliberations. The optimum choice remains so far the pre-agreed final status of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation that would unify the island under a unitary political structure. Further, the U.S. official argued that financial revenues originating from drilling and sale of natural gas reserves will incentivise stakeholders to return to the table of negotiations and discuss new avenues for settling the longstanding dispute.
Besides Cyprus, Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Palmer also referred to the positive impact of the Prespes Agreement. The U.S. official framed the agreement as a notable diplomatic achievement even though the actual implementation of its provisions would naturally be met with operational hurdles. Despite any points of contention, counterparts have to address these issues with constructive dialogue. Finally, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State also denoted that Greece should look towards strengthening its ties with North Macedonia and support the latter’s efforts to join the European Union ranks.