Presidents of Cyprus and Bulgaria agree to further enhance cooperation

Presidents of Cyprus and Bulgaria Nicos Anastasiades and Rumen Radev have expressed their willingness to further develop their bilateral ties, especially in the fields of energy, maritime, trade, tourism, research and education.

The Bulgarian President, who is in Cyprus on a two � day official visit, held a tete-a-tete meeting on Monday in Nicosia with President Anastasiades, followed by consultations with the participation of their respective delegations and the signing of bilateral agreements.

The two countries have agreed to continue their regular political dialogue at bilateral level but also to coordinate their actions both in international fora and within the EU. It is noted that Bulgaria assumes the presidency of the Council of the EU on January 1st.

In joint statements after the meeting, President Anastasiades said that he briefed his Bulgarian counterpart on the Cyprus issue, and thanked Bulgaria for its firm principled stance on Cyprus. He stressed his readiness for a prompt continuation of the intra-communal dialogue and the need for a well prepared next conference on the Cyprus problem so as to avoid the failures of the previous two conferences. The Cypriot President said he briefed his counterpart on the events during the recent Cyprus Conference in Crans Montana, Switzerland, and the reasons which led to the collapse of that effort that was aiming at reaching a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem.

The Bulgarian President, speaking through an interpreter, expressed his countrys position of principles on the Cyprus issue for a viable solution on the basis of UN resolutions and praised Cypruss initiatives for peace in the Middle East and the Mediterranean region through its cooperation with its neighboring countries. Bulgaria, he said, plays a similar role in its own region, and described the two countries as stability factors in their regions. He also said that Bulgaria’s EU Presidency will work to give prospects to the countries of the Western Balkans and thanked the Cyprus authorities for their help in issues concerning the EU Presidency. He also said that Cyprus and Bulgaria have common policies on many EU matters.

He also said that with President Anastasiades they exchanged views on the development of energy.

“Bulgaria and Cyprus are working very actively regarding energy sources and this is a policy that I hope will soon lead to practical results,” he said.

The two countries signed bilateral agreements concerning the Cooperation Program in Science, Education, Culture, Youth and Sport for the period 2018-2021 and a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation between Maritime Authorities.

In his statements, President Anastasiades recalled that he had paid Bulgaria a state visit in February 2016 and said that the exchange of visits is a token of the excellent relations and lay the foundations for further deepening their bilateral ties.

He said the two countries agreed to continue their political dialogue and coordinate their actions in international fora and within the EU. As regards the bilateral framework, he said the discussion focused on issues concerning a closer cooperation in very important aspects, such as energy, shipping, research, education and culture.

They also exchanged views on EU issues, ahead of Bulgaria’s first assumtmpion of the EU Presidency and wished Sophia every success in this effort.

President Anastasiades said they agreed on the need to have a common European approach to address the EU challenges such as Brexit, the management of the immigration flows and the economic crisis.

In addition, he said they exchanged views on the EU � Turkey relations and he reiterated Cyprus’ positions on a matter of issues concerning those relations.

Both countries, he added, stress the need for the respect of human rights, fundamental freedoms, the rule of law and the need for Turkey to meet its obligations towards all member states, including the Republic of Cyprus.

As regards the Bulgarian Presidency, President Anastasiades expressed Cyprus’ firm support towards the European course of the countries of the Western Balkans and the need for those countries to respect the EU principles and meet their obligations in this process. He said they expressed their satisfaction for the commitment of Serbia and Montenegro to proceed with their accession process saying that ‘our hope is that the rest of the Balkan states continue their reforms’.

Furthermore, he briefed the Bulgarian President on Cyprus’ active role in the Eastern Mediterranean and its initiatives in the region for cooperation, peace and stability.

He said he underlined that this regional cooperation contributes i.a. to the cooperation between the EU and the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean, to the EU efforts to safeguard Europe’s energy security and to the efforts to combat terrorism.

Moreover, he said he was briefed on similar initiatives undertaken by Bulgaria in the Balkan region.

Concluding, he expressed his full satisfaction with the substantive contribution of the Bulgarian community in Cyprus towards the economic growth of the island.

The President of Bulgaria said that the meeting is the continuation of their excellent, close and traditional ties of friendship and noted that both countries have the willingness to further enhance their bilateral relations and expand their economic and trade cooperation, on the basis of the good economic performance.

Referring to trade relations, he said that they are growing and that there was an increase in trade which culminated in 2015 with the record of Euros 200 million, an increase which is also associated with increased mutual investments. He also welcomed the growing tourism between the two countries.

The President of Bulgaria also noted that ten Bulgarian schools operate in Cyprus, while the number of Cypriot students in Bulgaria is high.

Concluding his statements, President Radev extended an invitation to President Anastasiades to visit Bulgaria.

Source: Cyprus News Agency