Minister Cerar in Cyprus
At the invitation of his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides, Foreign Minister Dr Cerar paid an official visit to the Republic of Cyprus on 17 and 18 October. He was accompanied by a group of Slovenian business representatives, who attended a business forum held in parallel with the visit.
Minister Cerar discussed bilateral cooperation and current developments in the EU, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East with Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides and President of the House of Representatives Demetris Syllouris, who paid an official visit to Slovenia last month.
“Both Slovenia and Cyprus are small European countries, actively striving for fundamental European values: the rule of law, promotion of human rights and cooperation of countries in responding to global issues,” said Minister Cerar after the visit.
The two countries maintain regular political dialogue, as demonstrated by a number of high-level visits in 2019, when Slovenia hosted both the Cypriot president and the president of the House of Representatives.
“Your country is a valuable partner for Slovenia. Cyprus is close to a region of utmost importance for the European Union, and Slovenia is close to the Western Balkans, a region that is part of Europe and should become part of the European Union in the future,” added the Slovenian foreign minister.
The ministers stressed the importance of collaboration between small and medium-sized countries in the EU and in the broader international community when addressing global issues such as migration, radicalism and facing climate change. The Slovenian side called for close cooperation during the preparation of its presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2021.
Minister Cerar’s visit has an important economic dimension. A business forum for Slovenian and Cypriot business representatives was held at the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In his introductory speech, Minister Cerar said:
“For Slovenia, Cyprus is an important investor, and we are also seeing an increase in trade between our countries.” He pointed to the significance of cooperation between the two maritime countries in connectivity, maritime transport, logistics and freight forwarding.
The Port of Koper is a prominent entry point for Central European markets, and Limassol ranks among the most important ports in the eastern Mediterranean.
In Limassol, Minister Cerar launched the open-air photo exhibition A Day in the Mediterranean. The exhibition is a result of collaboration by three hundred photographers from eight towns, including Ljubljana and Limassol. Through its contribution to the project, Slovenia presents itself as a country firmly anchored in the Mediterranean area, fostering intercultural understanding and cooperation.