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On the menu at the Gymnich in Cyprus, a “smart casual” discussion (update)

The meeting of foreign ministers was moved to Paphos, far from any Turkish presence on the island (© NGV / B2)

(BRUSSELS2) Foreign Ministers are meeting in Cyprus on 7 and 8 September, at a time which is not looking good at international level. It's not just the weather that will be hot in Cyprus...and the press has been carefully kept out of the meeting. Ministers have been warned to plan for summer dress. The "smart casual" will thus be de rigueur during the meeting, which is intended to be totally informal, away from the press. Participants will be able to adopt a slightly more chic outfit for the evening dinner. And a visit to the old town of Limassol - located near the British sovereignty base of Akrotiri, is also on the agenda.

Two substantive topics

The defined program also provides for two timeless discussions. One on water, a strategic question and an essential problem in several places in the world (the Nile Basin for example, but also in Yemen or in the Middle East) underlines a European diplomat; the other on education. Youth has been one of the active engines of the Arab Spring. The 27 should also look into the European security strategy - with the follow-up to the Copenhagen issues. We bet that other questions should arise on the agenda: Syria and Lebanon - because the situation is deteriorating in neighboring countries - or the Congo (Didier Reynders, the Belgian minister is thus back from a tour in the region ).

Out of sight

Originally scheduled for Nicosia, this informal meeting was moved to Paphos, at the request of the services of the High Representative, specify the Cypriot authorities. A measure that can be seen as the desire to reinstate the informal reality of the meeting, far from the press, and in an idyllic environment. But which is also due to the particular environment of the island. In Paphos, in the south of the island, we are farther from the green line which cuts the island in two and therefore safe from any untimely visit that a diplomat or a European minister who would like to see the last "wall" in Europe. Here, unlike Nicosia, we are far from any Turkish flag or a United Nations banner recalling that a NATO member country close to the European Union occupies part of it from another European country. ...

Read also: The High Representative denies (a little) wanting to keep the press out of meetings

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).