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18-05-2022 20:50

Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ioannis Kasoulides, after his meeting with his Czech counterpart

Dear Minister,

Dear Friends,

It is an honour and a privilege to be in Prague today. Your invitation to visit the Czech Republic reaffirms our mutual and sincere commitment to continue the positive track of the bilateral relations between our two countries.

Cyprus and Czech Republic share a good friendship and long-standing cordial relations based on common principles. As members of the European family, having joined the Union together in 2004, our countries attach great importance to the European principles and values.

As I expressed in our meeting, I am confident that there is great potential for further growth at the bilateral level, in an array of fields such as education, tourism, business, as well as areas like renewable energy, water resources and waste management.

Minister Lipavsky and I agree that this is the right time to bring fresh impetus to the existing cooperation between Cyprus and the Czech Republic.

Having said that, Minister Lipavsky briefed me on the priorities of the upcoming Czech Presidency of the EU Council. We wish you every success.

You can count on Cyprus’ support wherever possible, and on our constructive contribution to the Council’s work. We look forward to a close cooperation with you.

Unfortunately, my visit takes place against the backdrop of the dramatic events following the Russian invasion in Ukraine.

Maintaining our unity at EU level remains imperative in our efforts to exert economic and political pressure on Russia to end this war through effective diplomatic means.

During our deliberations today, both Minister Lipavsky and I, strongly condemned the Russian brutality against the civilian population and reiterated our support to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. We also discussed practical ways to help the Ukrainian people.

The war in Ukraine highlighted the urgent need to proceed with Europe’s energy independence, in this rapidly changing geopolitical environment.

By diversifying our energy supply we can strengthen the Union’s energy security. The prospect of a corridor from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe is now gaining momentum.

We also had the opportunity to discuss the EU-NATO relations, migration and developments in Eastern Europe.

As regards the Cyprus Problem, I also had the opportunity to inform Minister Lipavsky regarding the bold Confidence Building Measures that we have proposed. We believe they can help create a conducive environment that will positively support our efforts in resuming the process.

In these trying moments in European history, the time is ripe for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus Problem.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish to express my appreciation to you, once again, for inviting me to your beautiful country. I believe that my presence here opens a new chapter in our relations for the mutual benefit of our two countries and peoples.

Thank you.