Presidents Pahor and Anastasiades seek stronger ties and more integrated Europe

Ljubljana, 9. 1. 2019 | press release

Presidents Pahor and Anastasiades seek stronger ties and a more integrated Europe

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Mr Borut Pahor, and Ms Tanja Pečar, are today hosting the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, who is on an official visit to the Republic of Slovenia, accompanied by his spouse Andri Anastasiades.

It is the first official visit at the presidential level in 12 years. The leaders will aim towards strengthening political dialogue between Slovenia and Cyprus, in particular within the European Union, which the two countries joined at the same time. This year marks the 15th anniversary of their membership in the EU. The two countries have successfully weathered the recession and recorded economic growth, which creates new opportunities for further strengthening their cooperation in economic and other areas. They share many similarities and common views on European and Mediterranean issues.

Following an official reception with military honours in Congress Square in Ljubljana, the President of the Republic of Cyprus laid a wreath at the Monument to all Victims of Wars and War-Related Victims. The two presidents then had a long one-on-one meeting, followed by plenary talks between the delegations of Slovenia and Cyprus, led by their respective presidents.

Presidents Pahor and Anastasiades seek stronger ties and more integrated Europe
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

The two leaders particularly focused on bilateral relations and, to mark the 15th anniversary of both countries having joined the EU, exchanged opinions on the future of Europe. They shared the view that accession to the European Union provided for both countries with a useful tool for modernising their societies and countries. Slovenia and Cyprus are both pro-European countries and the presidents see Europe as a place of peace, security and prosperity.

The presidents also exchanged views on key international political topics as well as multilateral topics related to security and political issues. Their discussion also touched on the topic of the Western Balkans in the context of Euro-Atlantic integrations. They spoke about facing the migration problem. At the end of their meeting, President Anastasiades invited his Slovenian counterpart to pay an official visit to the Republic of Cyprus, which President Pahor accepted with pleasure.

At the press conference, President Pahor highlighted the good cooperation between the two countries in all areas and called for further dialogue. The Cypriot President’s visit to Slovenia coincides with the 15th anniversary of the accession of both countries to the European Union, which, according to the Slovenian President, was a very important milestone in their development. He also mentioned the importance of multilateralism, which offers predictability and security to small and medium-sized countries in particular. Breaking away from multilateralism and the weakening of both legal and political cohesion in the international community do not bode well for the future. The Slovenian President added that Cyprus and Slovenia are committed to building trust in the rule of law, including international law, in order to peacefully resolve the most sensitive issues, and touched upon the issue of the reunification of Cyprus and the settlement of relations between Slovenia and Croatia.

Presidents Pahor and Anastasiades seek stronger ties and more integrated Europe
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

On the sidelines of the visit, in the presence of the two Presidents, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the two countries, Miro Cerar and Nicos Christodoulides, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Political Consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and the Ministry of Foreign affairs of the Republic of Cyprus.

As part of the official visit, Presidents Pahor and Anastasiades exchanged respective state decorations; President Pahor awarded President Anastasiades the Order of Merit for Distinguished Service in recognition of his efforts towards developing friendly relations between the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Cyprus and for strengthening the integration of the two countries for a common European future, whereas President Pahor was decorated by President Anastasiades with the Grand Collar of the Order of Makarios III.

During the visit the first ladies also had a programme. Ms Tanja Pečar and Mrs Andri Anastasiades visited the Centre for Communication, Hearing and Speech Portorož and unveiled a Slovenian-Cypriot friendship bench in Izola. The friendship bench testifies to our common commitment to peace – it was installed on the promenade leading to the lighthouse in Izola that has, just like Cyprus, a dove with an olive branch, which is a symbol of peace, depicted on the town's coat of arms.

The visit will close with a gala dinner at the Presidential Palace, hosted by President Pahor in honour of the Cypriot President.

Presidents Pahor and Anastasiades seek stronger ties and more integrated Europe
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Presidents Pahor and Anastasiades seek stronger ties and more integrated Europe
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Presidents Pahor and Anastasiades seek stronger ties and more integrated Europe
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA