The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, visited this morning the Presidential Palace in Belgrade, where he was welcomed by the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic.
A formal ceremony was held in his honour, after which the two Presidents attended a private meeting.
A wide array of subjects was discussed between the delegations of the two countries, led by the two Presidents. From the Cypriot side the talks were attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nicos Christodoulides, the Government Spokesman, Prodromos Prodromou, and other officials. Among the issues under discussion were the latest developments in the Cyprus issue and the Turkish provocations in the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone, EU-Serbia relations and issues related to the upcoming European Council for the Western Balkans.
Before the end of this year, Cyprus will host the 2nd Intergovernmental Conference between Cyprus and Serbia, the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, announced, stressing the close relations between Cyprus and Serbia and the strong ties between the peoples of the two countries.
In a joint press conference, after the meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, the President of the Republic said that “it is a special honour for me and the delegation accompanying me in today’s meeting, which, once again, reaffirms the excellent level of relations between our countries and the structured and creative dialogue we have instituted on a wide range of important issues, both bilaterally and multilaterally”.
Given the will of both sides to further deepen bilateral cooperation and the deep historic and religious bonds that connect them, it was agreed that Cyprus will host Nicosia, by the end of this year, the 2nd Intergovernmental Conference between Cyprus and Serbia, with the organization of a business forum to examine the strengthening of our cooperation both in the economic, tourism and other areas of common interest.
“With our friend President, we have of course discussed Serbia’s European course. We have discussed extensively Serbia’s accession negotiations, which is a long and painful process.
Taking into account the significant progress made by your country, Mr President, I have no doubt that Serbia will be part of the Union in the near future.
And here I would like to emphasize that Serbia can always rely on Cyprus’s commitment to act as a credible partner within the Union and as a friend country that honestly believes that Serbia’s future can only be, and must be, a European one”, Anastasiades stressed.
The Cypriot President reiterated the Republics goal to achieve a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of the UN Security Council resolutions on Cyprus and the EU acquis and refrain from actions that instead of assisting the two communities in Cyprus to achieve a solution create obstacles.
President Anastasiades also expressed his deep gratitude “for the position of principles and the long-standing and full support of Serbia in the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of the Republic of Cyprus, and in our efforts for a just and peaceful a solution to the Cyprus problem, on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions”.
Finally, ANastasiades also expressed his deep appreciation and recognition of Cyprus for the contribution of the Serbian people through the presence of the Serbian extract at UNFICYP.
For his part, President Vucic said, among other things, speaking through an interpreter, that Serbia appreciates the position and support the Republic on the issues the country is faced with, noting that both the Cypriot people and President Anastasiades himself have confirmed this in many cases.
He added that during his meeting with President Anastasiades they talked about various issues that posed problems both for Cyprus and for Serbia and pointed out the support of President Anastasiades in the European course of Serbia.
President Vukic voiced hope for a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem, noting that his country maintains its position on the matter over time.
Referring to bilateral relations, Vucic said that Serbia wants to further strengthen its relations with Cyprus in all fields, adding that at one of his future visits to Cyprus a business forum will take place to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral relations, in tourism, construction, trade and agriculture sectors, among others.
He also said that “friendship between the two countries is sincere and there are no interests. There is a close relationship between our peoples, something very rare in the international community. We are grateful to President Anastasiades and the Cypriot Government for supporting Serbia with regard to Kosovo. Cyprus is one of the EU member states that strongly protect the international law and sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country”.
Expressing thanks for the Cypriot people’s friendship with the Serbian, President Vucic said that Cypriots should feel Serbia as their home.
Moreover, earlier, at a special ceremony, President Anastasiades was decorated by the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić with the Supreme Order of Republika Srpska, while President Vucic was decorated by President Anastasiades with the Grand Collar of the Order of Makarios III./IBNA