Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides has said that Italy is currently Cyprus’ third largest trade partner, noting that “the energy sector is one that holds significant potential” and that the promising hydrocarbon discoveries in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus constitute an important parameter of our growing cooperation.

Addressing on Friday evening a reception at the residence of the Italian Ambassador in Nicosia, on the occasion of the National Day of Italy, Christodoulides said that Cyprus and Italy are working together to address challenges and accomplish common goals, such as upholding the European project, bringing Europe closer to its citizens, as well as promoting peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean. He also expressed Cyprus’s appreciation for Italy’s support to efforts for a settlement to the Cyprus problem.

On his part, Italian Ambassador to Cyprus, Andrea Cavallari, assured that Italy is and will remain at Cyprus’ side, as a true and close partner, in all efforts to develop a stronger country and unify the Island, promoting a just and viable solution that, in line with the relevant UN resolutions and the European Union acquis, will bring the two communities to live together in a reunited Cyprus.

In his address, Christodoulides highlighted “the long-standing excellent relations, the close partnership between our two countries, and our commitment to further enhance and expand our ties.”

He noted that “Cyprus and Italy are bound together by a shared value base, common interests and goals and a common European vision for our countries, and the Mediterranean region.  As reliable partners in the European Union, we have expanded and intensified our cooperation through a dynamic dialogue in an array of fields ranging from political, to economic, to cultural cooperation,” he said.

The Foreign Minister went on to say that “our cooperation within the framework of the so called ‘MED7’ – the seven Southern European Union member-states – is further tangible proof of our commitment to addressing shared challenges.”

“At the same time, we are collaborating closely to expand our economic cooperation. Italy is currently Cyprus’ 3rd largest trade partner, and there is certainly room for further cooperation. The energy sector is one that holds significant potential; the promising hydrocarbon discoveries in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus constitute an important parameter of our growing cooperation,” he added.

Christodoulides expressed Cyprus’ appreciation “for Italy’s support in our efforts to end the division and occupation of Cyprus, and to reunify the country and its people through a just and viable comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, in line with international law, United Nations resolutions, and European law, values and principles. A solution to this European problem would not only be of utmost importance to Cyprus, but also to Europe and to the region,” he added.

On his part, Ambassador Cavallari referred to the new government in Italy, noting that “under this new leadership, Italy will continue to act responsibly in Europe and in the world, affirming those democratic values and principles that are enshrined in our Constitution”.

“Europe and the Mediterranean will remain at the center of our foreign policy. We know that we can count on Cyprus to pursue together our shared goals: in Europe, to restore the trust of our citizens in a common European project based on greater solidarity and shared responsibilities among EU members; in the Mediterranean region, to make sure that this ancient cradle of civilization remains an area of peace and prosperity for all,” Cavallari said.

Moreover, he stressed that Italy and Cyprus are close partners, noting that “united by shared democratic values and a common European vision, our nations are determined to promote a Mediterranean dimension within the European Union and foster a greater stability in the Easter Mediterranean region.”

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.

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