Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus

The President of the Republic, Mr Nikos Christodoulides, extended an invitation to the Prime Minister and the President of the Italian Republic to visit Cyprus. The invitation was accepted, and, as he stated, an agreement was reached to create a roadmap aimed at strengthening relations between Cyprus and Italy.

In statements to the media in Rome, where he conducted a one-day official visit and held separate meetings with the President of Italy, Mr Sergio Mattarella, and the Prime Minister of the country, Ms Giorgia Meloni, the President of the Republic said: “I had two very productive meetings, both with the President of the country, as well as a lengthy meeting with the Prime Minister. Cyprus and Italy have much in common and are linked with historical bonds. Our countries are in the Mediterranean and we face many common challenges, such as, for example, the Migration issue, which was a significant subject in our discussions, and we share many opportunities that need to be seized, such as Energy – this was the second topic of our discussion. What we have agreed, in particular with the Prime Minister, is to work, in the immediate future, on the basis of a roadmap to strengthen our cooperation, since we have a similar approach to many issues.”

With regard to the Migration issue, I was thoroughly briefed by the Prime Minister of Italy on the initiatives being taken, especially after Tunisia. What has been agreed between Italy and Albania, namely to examine cases of asylum seekers rescued at international waters in Albania, is a new initiative with possible positive outcomes. We agreed to undertake, at a European level, together with other countries, an initiative related to the issue of Syria.

As to Energy issues, the Prime Minister was well-informed on all developments. She is in direct contact with the CEO of ENI, Mr Descalzi, she knows that a significant drilling is underway in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus and that ENI holds participating interests in seven out of the ten licenced blocks. We have agreed to further promote the importance of the Eastern Mediterranean, at a European level.

I am also pleased that the initiative and the efforts of the Republic of Cyprus to create a humanitarian sea corridor is fully supported by the Italian Republic. In fact, the Prime Minister presented me with two ideas for Italy’s more active involvement - specifically as to the implementation of the initiative. We will be in contact in subsequent stages.

We also discussed issues related to the European Union (EU). There are scheduled elections for the appointment of the members of the European Council; there will be a new President of the Commission, a new President of the Council, and a new President of the Parliament, as well as a new High Representative. For all these, we agreed to stay in touch so that we can see how to further strengthen our cooperation since we face, and we agree on this, the same challenges and we share the same opportunities.

This roadmap of developments that we want to see in our bilateral relations will proceed immediately, and I will be very happy to welcome the Prime Minister as well as the President of Italy – they both have accepted my invitation – to Cyprus for a working visit so that we can discuss all these issues.

Let me remind you that it has been 33 years since the last two-day visit of the Italian Prime Minister to Cyprus, and I believe that a visit by the Prime Minister of Italy in 2024 will send a new message as to our common political will to enhance our relations.” Referring to Mr Mattarella’s visit to Cyprus, President Christodoulides noted that it would be the first visit to Cyprus by an Italian President.