Republic of Cyprus looking to the Middle East in its foreign policy


24 March 2022

Republic of Cyprus looking to the Middle East in its foreign policy

The Foreign Policy of the Republic of Cyprus: Local, Regional and International Dimensions (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022) edited by Zenonas Tziarras, is the first book on the foreign policy of the Republic of Cyprus (RoC), and the first to develop and systematically apply the concept of Foreign Policy Maturity. It focuses specifically on the post-2004 period, namely after the RoC's accession to the European Union (EU) and the failed Annan Plan that aimed at resolving the decades-old Cyprus Problem. The literature on RoC politics and foreign policy has been dominated by concerns and issues associated with the conflict. This book intentionally approaches foreign policy in a way that takes the conflict into account but is not constrained by it. The authors grabble with issues such as past and present foreign policy drivers, international law, defence diplomacy, international organizations, gender mainstreaming, relations with key international actors, institutional capacities, grand strategic concerns, and Turkish-Cypriot perspectives of the RoC's foreign policy. 

​Central to many of the book chapters is the RoC’s foreign policy shift during the 2010s towards proactivity in its broader neighborhood, the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. This includes the formation of trilateral partnerships such as Cyprus-Greece-Israel and Cyprus-Greece-Egypt, but also Nicosia’s efforts to deal with regional crises such as Syria, Libya, and bilateral tensions with Turkey. Therefore, this book is important not only because of the unique insights it provides into the workings of the RoC’s foreign policy, but also because it contributes to the better understanding of regional geopolitical dynamics and changes.  

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