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Landmark visit diplomatic boost for Cyprus-Croatia ties

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Strengthening bilateral relations between EU friends Cyprus and Croatia while supporting Ukraine are key messages for Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković during his landmark official visit.

It is the first-ever official visit of a Croatian Prime Minister to Cyprus, celebrating the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations.

“I wish to reaffirm the high importance that my Government and I personally attach to further enhancing our relationship, which draws its strength from a common adherence to democratic values and norms and a genuine friendship”, said President Nicos Anastasiades.

He said Prime Minister Plenković is a dedicated European with whom he has a strong convergence of views “stemming from our pursuit to make the European Union stronger and more cohesive in an ever-changing international environment”.

Anastasiades said almost three months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the situation remains unpredictable.

The Prime Minister said he and President Anastasiades “have been friends for almost six years”.

He said Croats and Cypriots are linked with the Mediterranean, culturally and historically.

“It is important to use this opportunity of the first official visit of a Croatian Prime Minister to Cyprus to put forward all the ideas and potential of our cooperation that I am sure will gain a new momentum after the visit,” Plenković said.

He underlined that Cyprus and Croatia had a similar struggle for independence and had to make their voice heard in the international community.

“Croatia also had its territories occupied in the 90s; therefore, we understand the pain and difficult moments you are going through.”

He said that the situation in Croatia was resolved through negotiations, through the involvement of the United Nations and with a lot of political will, determination, and ability.

“We would like to extend this know-how to similar situations, and one of them is the one you have here.

“And that is why we have always been by your side in the international fora, in the UN, in the debates and other international organisations fully supporting your positions because we understand them, and they are in accordance with the values and the principles that we share.

“We are all witnessing the incredible violation of international law and international order as we know it by Russia against Ukraine.

“We should work jointly on solutions that put together our national efforts and our joint European efforts because a big problem requires big solutions, creative minds and a lot of cooperation”.

He said that Croatia supports the various packages and restrictive measures and sanctions against Russia that the EU has adopted and will continue to do so.

He also noted the importance of concluding the Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation, pointing out that everything should be ready by next November.

He said that direct flights would facilitate tourism.

The Croatian Prime Minister also discussed cooperation in the energy field, given the spike of the energy crisis after Russia’s invasion.

He said both countries could explore ways to benefit from each other’s potential when it comes to gas, pipelines, and other investments.