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26-02-2020 08:29

The President of the Republic attended an official dinner hosted in his honour by the President of Bulgaria

The President of the Republic, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, attended an official dinner hosted in his honour by the President of Bulgaria, Mr. Rumen Radev.

In his address at the dinner, President Radev said, among other things, that the discussions the two Presidents had earlier today were fruitful and will render the bilateral relations even stronger in all fields, adding that Cyprus and Bulgaria share the same values and the same culture.

“I always admire your wisdom, your openness, your readiness for discussion, your readiness for a constructive approach and to finding compromises without sacrificing our values. I do believe that with leaders like you, our region will grow stronger, stable and safe, and will grow with a promising future for our bright young people“. President Radev said addressing President Anastasiades.  

On his part President Anastasiades said, among other things, that “it is an honour and a privilege to be here with you in Sofia this evening. I really appreciate the warm reception and hospitality offered to me, to the First Lady, as well as to the members of the Cypriot delegation. Thank you for making us feel like home.

Your invitation to visit Bulgaria and my presence here today reaffirms our mutual and sincere commitment to continue the positive track of the bilateral relations between our two countries.

In this respect, I am very glad to attest that our people have interacted with each other and prospered from this beneficial contact for years.

We shall never forget the solidarity and support shown by the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Bulgarian people during the difficult years that followed the Turkish military invasion of 1974 in Cyprus, when thousands of Cypriots emigrated to Bulgaria to work or study. 

At the same time, nowadays, the presence of the vibrant Bulgarian community constitutes an additional valuable link between our two countries. There are almost 35,000 Bulgarian citizens who live and work today in Cyprus and nine schools where the Bulgarian language is taught, which undoubtedly contribute to the enrichment of our society and economy.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Cyprus and Bulgaria. In 1960, a few months after the independence of the newly formed Republic of Cyprus, Bulgaria was one of the first countries that recognised the Republic and opened an Embassy in Nicosia. An act for which we are truly grateful.

In fact, I am very glad because we will be jointly inaugurating a photographic exhibition about the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relationship between our countries. A relationship that has not only proven resilient through time, but has steadily grown to exceptional levels of trust, genuine friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation both at the level of Government and of our two societies.

Our talks earlier reaffirmed the important nature of our partnership and the depth and width of our relation. As I expressed in our meeting, I am confident that there is great potential for fruitful expansion and enhancement both bilaterally, in an array of areas such as investments, energy, education, tourism and culture, but also within the EU framework.

Last but not least, I take also this opportunity to express once again Cyprus’ appreciation for the principled stance of Bulgaria with regard to the Cyprus Problem.

I would like to assure you of my unwavering dedication and strong commitment to efforts aiming at the resumption of negotiations at the earliest possible with the aim of reaching a settlement in line with International and EU Law; a solution that will reunite Cyprus, whilst ensuring that it remains a functional and effective EU Member State.

A reunification which will ensure a common and prosperous future for the coming generations of Greek and Turkish Cypriots. A future which will allow them to live freely together, under conditions of stability, safety and peaceful co-existence, free from foreign dependencies.

Mr. President, while I thank you once again for the invitation and this warm welcome, I wish to raise a toast:

To the continued progress and prosperity of the friendly people of Bulgaria, and to the long-standing friendship between Bulgaria and Cyprus and its further enhancement”.