President Anastasiades met with the Prime Minister of Estonia

President Anastasiades met with the Prime Minister of Estonia

The President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades, met today, at the Presidential Palace, the Prime Minister of Estonia, Juri Ratas, who is paying an official visit to Cyprus.

In the afternoon, Ratas arrived at the Presidential Palace, where he was officially welcomed by President Anastasiades.

After the official welcoming ceremony, the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister of Estonia held talks with the participation of the delegations of the two countries.

Following the talks, the President and the Prime Minister made statements to the Media.

In his statement, the President of the Republic said that: “It is both an honour and a pleasure to welcome my friend, Prime Minister Ratas, to Cyprus, who visits in view of the upcoming Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

These are very challenging times for Europe and its citizens, and I want to reassure you Prime Minister that Cyprus will stand by the Estonian Presidency, supporting you in every way we can.

During today’s meeting we had the opportunity to exchange views on the priorities of the Estonian Presidency. I assured the Prime Minister of our unwavering support to the Presidency in taking its agenda forward and accomplishing a Europe that is inclusive, sustainable and innovative; a Europe that responds to the concerns and aspirations of our citizens.

We have also had a fruitful exchange of views on Brexit, in view of the start of the negotiations next month, whereby we underlined the importance of unity among the 27 member states of the European Union.

We had the opportunity to have an overview of our bilateral relations, and we expressed our readiness to explore new areas of cooperation. Cyprus looks to Estonia’s achievements in e-government and digital technology, and following the relevant Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2016, we are confident that we will further enhance our cooperation in this field, along with further exploring the untapped potential in the business, trade, and tourism fields.

Prime Minister Rata’s visit coincides with a critical juncture in the negotiations for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, and I had the opportunity to brief the Prime Minister on the latest developments.

I informed on the progress achieved during the past two years, as well as the pending issues that persist on significant issues. I also briefed the Prime Minister on the challenges that we need to overcome, in order to move the process forward in a results-oriented manner, bearing in mind the critical juncture in the negotiations, and the fact that the extensive and exhaustive negotiations on the internal aspects of the Problem during these past months, which have not yielded any positive results.

It is of utmost importance for all sides to remain committed to the continuation of the dialogue, safeguard and respect the convergences reached, and abandon any pretexts, or untenable demands and preconditions that do not, in any way or form, serve the interests either of the Turkish Cypriots, or the Greek Cypriots. Needless to say, that we expect Turkey to finally deliver on its verbal commitments, and to contribute tangibly to the process.

I wish to once again extend my heartfelt congratulations to you and to Estonia for the assumption of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Let me reassure you once again, that Cyprus will stand firmly by your side and support your efforts”.

On his part, Prime Minister Ratas said, among other things, that “being small countries the challenges are often similar”.

Referring to the Cyprus problem, the Prime Minister said that “Estonia supports finding a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem based on the relevant resolutions of the UN. The two communities are the owners of this process”./IBNA