Conference of the House Speakers of the Small States of Europe opens in Nicosia

House Speakers from six small states of Europe namely Cyprus, Iceland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Monaco and Montenegro meet Wednesday in Nicosia for their 13th Conference to discuss issues related to digital era, the cooperation and dialogue with states in the Middle East and the contribution of Parliaments in the field of rare diseases.

The Conference was opened by Cyprus’ House Speaker Dimitris Syllouris who pointed out that the Conference this year has introduced the discussion with countries in the Middle East thus enriching regional co-operation and the promotion of international co-operation as well as economic diplomacy with the participation of various actors in the fields of trade and business.

Syllouris also said that the small states, with the participation in this Conference, demonstrate in practice the determination of small states to keep working together in order to strengthen common values and interests for the benefit of their citizens.

The House Speaker also pledged Cyprus’ commitment to the universal values and principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law which is the link and basis for cooperation between the small states.

He pointed out that the Republic of Cyprus, in its effort to deal with the continuing violations by Turkey, which has invaded and still occupies 37% of the island’s territory for more than 45 years and violates its sovereignty, both on the ground and in its exclusive economic zone, places great signifance in the importance of multilateral co-operation.

Syllouris went on to say that cooperation and frequent exchange of views is important as small states are often more vulnerable to the arbitrariness of those who do not respect the rules of international law.

The Conference covers three sections on the Challenges, Opportunities and Best Practices for the Small States of Europe in the Digital Era, Cooperation between Regions with the participation of Presidents of the Parliaments of Egypt and Oman and the Vice-Presidents of the Parliaments of Saudi Arabia and Palestine and an MP from the Kuwaiti Parliament as well as the Ambassador of Israel, and cooperation in the field of rare diseases and the contribution of the Parliaments.

The deliberations conclude in the afternoon with the adoption of a Joint Declaration and a press conference. Later in the evening the Speaker of the Cyprus House will hold a formal dinner in honor of the delegates.

Source: Cyprus News Agency