Consistent mutual support of Serbia and Cyprus in key issues of national interest

01. Aug 2022.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Selaković met today in Nicosia with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus Ioannis Kasoulides.

At the press conference after the meeting, Minister Selaković stated that the conversation with his Cypriot counterpart had confirmed the traditional friendship, closeness and solidarity between our two nations, as well as the mutual determination to make future relations even better and more meaningful.

“Serbia and the Republic of Cyprus are committed to deepening their cooperation and expanding their dialogue in all areas, as well as to a consistent and principled mutual support in key issues of state and national interest”, emphasised Minister Selaković. He added that his first bilateral visit after assuming the duty of a Minister of Foreign Affairs had been to Cyprus.

Minister Selaković particularly thanked Cyprus for its support to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Serbia, as an issue of highest national interest, and especially for the understanding Cyprus had shown for the difficult position of Serbs and other non-Albanian populations in Kosovo and Metohija.

“Our conversation today concerned the efforts Serbia has been making to reach a compromise, sustainable and permanent solution for the issue of Kosovo and Metohija”, said Minister Selaković, and noted that every kind of unilateralism was unacceptable and did not contribute to reaching a compromise, sustainable solution.

Minister Selaković highlighted that the support of countries which were upholding the observance of the international law was very valuable for Serbia and helped it to continue with its activities as regards normalisation of the relations between Belgrade and Priština.

“The Republic of Serbia is fully and unconditionally supporting the efforts of Cyprus to resolve its most important national issue, in order to preserve its territorial integrity and sovereignty. “We believe that an overall solution for this territorial dispute should be found on the basis of the relevant UN resolutions and agreements between the two sides”, said Minister Selaković. He added that he had agreed with Minister Kasoulides that it was necessary to do everything to preserve and strengthen the stability of Western Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean.

He conveyed our gratitude to Cyprus for its consistent and continued support to Serbia’s EU accession process, repeating that this was one of the main foreign policy priorities of our country.

Minister Selaković highlighted that Serbia was interested in expanding and deepening its economic cooperation with Cyprus, and stated the fact that the trade between the two countries had increased by 30.3% from January to May this year.

“I wish to encourage the business community of Cyprus to invest in Serbia, whose economic growth is among the largest in Europe, which guarantees the security of investments and numerous benefits for foreign investors”, said Minister Selaković, and noted that Serbia was interested in working with Cyprus on strengthening their cooperation in the energy sector.

In addition, Minister Selaković stated that there had been a discussion about holding the third joint session between the two governments, and the next trilateral meeting between Serbia, Cyprus and Greece. He expressed his pleasure with the fact that an agreement had been reached on sending a Serbian diplomat to the Embassy of Serbia in Nicosia, in order to be in constant communication with the Commissariat for Cyprus Diaspora for the purpose of training and transferring knowledge and experience of the Cypriot aside.

“I would like to thank you for the warm hospitality you have shown me, and I hope that we will soon return the favour and receive the esteemed Minister Ioannis Kasoulides in Belgrade”, Minister Selaković concluded his speech.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus Ioannis Kasoulides said that today’s meeting was a sign of the excellent dialogue of the two countries, and their mutual commitment to further strengthen their relations.

“Allow me to express our gratitude for Serbia’s principled position as regards the Cyprus issue”, stated Minister Kasoulides, conveying Cyprus’ unambiguous position on the issue of non-recognition of the so-called Kosovo.

In addition, Minister Kasoulides stated that he had informed Minister Selaković on the latest developments as regards the peace process on Cyprus.

Minister Kasoulides said that the situation in the Balkans had been discussed, adding that it was very sensitive at the moment, and that very little was needed for the region to be “set on fire”, as shown by yesterday’s incidents in Kosovska Mitrovica.

He emphasised Cyprus’ desire to resolve the crisis diplomatically, and stated that this was another confirmation that the European integration was a way to ensure long-term stability and prosperity of the region.

“EU’s recent decision to open accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania is a step in the right direction. We are looking forward to fast development in accession negotiations between the countries of the region, including, of course, Serbia, emphasised Minister Kasoulides”, adding that European Union must do more to convince the countries of the region to be a part of the EU.