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26-02-2020 15:21

The President of the Republic and the President of Bulgaria inaugurated a photographic exhibition organized by the PIO, in Sofia

The President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, and the President of Bulgaria, Mr Rumen Radev, inaugurated today a photographic exhibition on the 60 years of Diplomatic Relations between Cyprus and Bulgaria, at the Embassy of the Republic in Sofia, organized by the Press and Information Office of the Republic in collaboration with the Embassy.

In his address at the ceremony, President Anastasiades said that «it is a great pleasure and a true honour to inaugurate today, in the framework of my official visit to Bulgaria, together with the President of Bulgaria, my dear friend Rumen, this photographic exhibition tracing and revealing the diplomatic journey between Cyprus and Bulgaria.

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries is a unique occasion. And the exhibition here today, showcases the historical evolution of our bilateral ties. A journey progressing through time, the foundation of which was laid back in 1960.

Indeed, in 1960, a few months after the independence of the newly-formed Republic of Cyprus, Bulgaria was one of the first countries that recognized the Republic and opened an Embassy in Nicosia. For this gesture we are truly grateful.

Ever since, this relationship has proven resilient through time, and 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.

Not only this, but the 21st century, with its many political upheavals and challenges, finds our two countries which attach a great importance to the European ideas and ideals, as Members States of the European Union.

And I can attest that this active and conscious participation in the context of our common European family has brought our countries even closer.

At the same time, I am pleased to assess, based on my yesterday’s fruitful discussions with the President, the Prime Minister and the Chairperson of the National Assembly, of our sincere joint will and desire to further advance and deepen our cooperation both at a bilateral level and within the European Union and other international fora, enabling us to face the multiple challenges of the modern era.

This exhibition represents also a token of appreciation towards the Government and the people of the Republic of Bulgaria for striving all these years to establish such synergies that would have a positive impact for our countries and beyond.

And as we acknowledge the considerable achievements of our partnership, I am particularly pleased to note that these were the result of coordinated and determined efforts by both sides.

In this regard, I feel obliged to pay tribute to all those who have contributed, during the past six decades, towards the further enhancement of these sound relations which have withstood the test of time and progressed steadily.

This exhibition connects the past with the future.

Looking back, we are proud of what we have achieved so far. Looking ahead, we are setting new goals for the future, based on our joint and strong commitment to further expand our cooperation, to the mutual benefit of our countries and peoples.

I want once again to warmly thank you all for joining us today at the new premises of the Embassy of Cyprus, celebrating with us this important milestone in the diplomatic relations between Cyprus and Bulgaria.

Last but not least, I wish to thank the Ambassador to Bulgaria, Mr Marios Kountourides, as well as the Ambassador of Bulgaria to Cyprus, also the Press and Information Office of Cyprus for their valuable contribution for setting up this photographic exhibition, as well as developing and deepening our relations.

Thank you again for such a warm hospitality that makes us feel at home».

On his part, the President of Bulgaria said, among other things, that «at this prominent exhibition we have 54 Ambassadors. This is an international event.

Thank you for your support in building stronger Bulgarian-Cypriot relations. We appreciate it.

Bulgaria was among the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Cyprus 60 years ago. Today, we are proud of this fact. Because this act expresses the close historical relations and ties. And warm feelings between the peoples of the two countries».

He added that during these 60 years both nations have passed through extremely difficult challenges, but «even during those difficult moments we shared sympathy, mutual support and we shared solidarity».

President Radev also said that «we are so grateful to the government of Cyprus for taking care thousands of Bulgarians who chose to live, work, or study in Cyprus» and referred to the successful bilateral relations in all fields.

He also expressed belief that the fruitful talks he had yesterday with President Anastasiades on how to better develop bilateral relations in the fields of economy, trade, energy, education, tourism, technology, the new sectors will be further enchanced.

Concluding, the President of Bulgaria thanked President Anastasiades for his invitation to visit Cyprus.

In his address at the ceremony, the Ambassador of the Republic to Bulgaria, Mr Marios Kountourides, said, among other things, that there are numerous occasions where the two countries but more significantly their peoples that prove by example that this bond of friendship and solidarity was evident before 1960 when they established diplomatic relations.

He added that one of those examples is the one of the Bulgaria revolutionary Atanas Shabanov, one of the leading figures of the April uprising of 1876 and who was exiled in Cyprus by the Ottoman Turks, who in his memoirs refers to the compassion showed to him and other Bulgarians in exile, by the Greek Cypriots.

He also said that thousands of Greek Cypriots found home in Bulgaria following the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island. «Our countries might be small in size but our hearts are definitely not», the Ambassador concluded.

(RM/EK/SCH)