Presidents of Cyprus and Poland, Nikos Christodoulides  and Andrzej Duda, respectively, expressed their mutual will to further strengthen the already excellent relations between the two countries, during a press conference they held on Thursday in Poland, in the framework of Cyprus President’s first ever official visit to the country.

In his remarks, President Christodoulides spoke of a historic visit that not only confirms the excellent political relations, which were especially strengthened after the two countries joined the EU in 2004, but also aims to further strengthen cooperation in sectors such as tourism, trade and investment.

Regarding tourism, he said, according to the Presidency, that there is an impressive increase in tourist flows, noting that figures show that Cyprus will welcome 300,000 Polish tourists to the island in 2024. He said that there is will to increase this number even more with over 35 flights per week. At the moment, he said, Poland is the 3rd country with the highest number of arrivals in Cyprus.

In relation to trade, the President said that in 2023, the total trade between the countries reached 113 million euro, an increase of over 7.1% compared to 2022.

President Christodoulides expressed the belief that there are still many prospects for increasing and expanding commercial transactions, as well as mutual investments between the two countries, adding that “we will work concretely and substantially in this direction.”

In his statements the President said that the people of Poland succeeded and now enjoy freedom and democracy in their country and the people of Cyprus continue their struggle for the liberation and reunification of the island.

He expressed his gratitude for Poland’s support to efforts aiming to solve the Cyprus problem and also spoke of the cooperation in the EU, saying that the peak of this enhanced cooperation has been the joint exercise, with Denmark, of the trio of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2011-2012.

He said that we have again before us the assuming of the Presidency trio of 2025 and the first half of 2026 and the demands will be particularly high as international challenges are high as well.

The President said that “our cooperation and coordination has already begun” and expressed confidence that the countries will respond to this common challenge.

In his statements, the President also referred to Russia’s ongoing aggressive policy against Ukraine, which undoubtedly affects security in the wider region, adding that the invasion, occupation, violation of international law, wherever it comes from, is reprehensible and should be terminated.

He also said that war in Gaza, which not only creates instability in the wider region but an unprecedented humanitarian crisis as well, should also end.

Cyprus President referred to the “Amalthea” initiative, saying that our goal, through the initiative, is to contribute, in cooperation with our partners, to dealing with this crisis, through the provision of uninterrupted humanitarian aid to all those who are in immediate need.

The President of Poland said, among other things, speaking through an interpreter, that this is a historic moment as it is the first visit of the head of the Republic of Cyprus to Poland.

He mentioned that in his talks with President Christodoulides they emphasized that Cyprus is a very interesting destination for Poles, since it is a country with a huge history.  He said that in 2023 more than 270 thousand Poles visited Cyprus and these numbers are constantly increasing.

He also added that Poland bought a building in Paphos which is used as a Center for archaeological excavations by the groups of Poles who have been active in this field on the island for six decades.

The President of Poland also said that he informed President Christodoulides about the situation regarding the hosting of Ukrainian refugees and that they also discussed the situation in the Middle East.

Referring to the Cyprus problem, the President of Poland assured of his country’s position that the Cyprus problem must be resolved on the basis of UN resolutions.

He added that they also discussed the issues on the European agenda including the upcoming EU elections.

Replying to a question by the press, the President of Cyprus referred to the goal for enhanced relations in the tourist sector, noting once again that we want to see more flights, beyond the current 35 and we are also in some discussions with Polish and Cypriot companies for more flights. He expressed the belief that we could reach half a million arrivals from Poland.

In response to a question about Poland’s stance on the Cyprus issue, President Christodoulides said that both in the UN and in the EU and other fora Poland has always supported the positions of the Republic of Cyprus.

The President of Poland said that the Polish position has not changed for years and that Polish people completely understand this very sensitive matter, expressing the wish for a reunited Cyprus.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results.

The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

In January, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appointed María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar of Columbia as his personal envoy for Cyprus, to assume a Good Offices role on his behalf and search for common ground on the way forward in the Cyprus issue.

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