Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus

The excellent relations between Cyprus and Montenegro and ways to further strengthen them, the developments in the Cyprus problem and the ongoing Turkish provocations, the situation in Ukraine, and the relations between the EU-Montenegro were among the issues discussed at the meeting between the President of the Republic Mr Nikos Anastasiades and the President of Montenegro Mr Milo Dukanović, who described the official visit of the President of the Republic to Montenegro as a historic one.

In statements to the media, following the conclusion of extended talks between the delegations of Cyprus and Montenegro at the Presidential Residence in Cetinje, the President of the Republic thanked the President of Montenegro for the invitation to visit his country, as well as for the excellent hospitality extended to him and his delegation. He noted that the invitation has created another historical dimension in the two countries’ relations, since it is the first official visit of the President of the Republic of Cyprus to Montenegro.

The President said that during their meeting they had the opportunity to exchange views on current problems, on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, on the challenges facing the EU. Developments have highlighted the unity within the EU and the solidarity among member states and the candidate states for EU membership. He expressed satisfaction with the recent statements by European partners, especially by some big member states, after the developments in Ukraine, which are in favour of accelerating the membership of the countries of the Western Balkans that fulfil the necessary preconditions.

President Anastasiades congratulated Montenegro on the progress made in implementing the obligations under the pre-accession chapters and, ultimately, accession to the EU and expressed satisfaction with the fact that 33 out of 35, chapters have opened and the process has accelerated since 2020.

President Anastasiades added that he had no doubt that the process for the chapters which are pending will be completed, so that Montenegro will soon be able to be the first country to officially join the European family.

He also noted that they discussed the possibilities of further deepening and developing relations between the two countries and that he was briefed about the developments in the Western Balkans, while on his part he elaborated on the situation with regard to the Cyprus problem.

President Anastasiades thanked President Dukanović for Montenegro’s stance of principles as regards the resolution of the Cyprus problem, the basis of the solution, and also for the support that the country has provided Cyprus when it was needed.

The President said that he is aware that Montenegro has also good relations with Turkey, however, this is not a problem for friends who want their friends to contribute, so that the Cyprus problem is understood, and expressed certainty that there will be a common course with regard to the problems facing the Western Balkans and, of course, the problems created as a result of Turkish intolerance and provocative behaviour.

President Anastasiades expressed the belief that after the events, the catastrophic war we are witnessing following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there will be a revision of policy also at the part of Europe, so that there can be a more effective intervention, and so that the benefit of Europe will be of more value than the benefit of a country. And that will be in everyone’s interest, he noted. We need a strong Europe, we have a strong Europe, but it needs to be founded on the same principles and values for everyone without exception, he underlined.

As far as bilateral relations are concerned, President Anastasiades, said that it has been agreed that there will be an exchange of visits by ministers responsible in a number of areas from which both countries can benefit, such as the economy, commerce, education, culture, innovation, tourism, the natural environment and the green transition, the exchange of experience on a number of issues. In this way we can contribute to mutual assistance, further strengthening of relations and the advancement of our countries, he pointed out.

President Anastasiades extended an invitation to the President of Montenegro to visit Cyprus.

Concluding, President Anastasiades thanked the President of Montenegro and assured him that Cyprus will continue to be the best advocate in Montenegro’s bid to join the European family.

The President of Montenegro, speaking through an interpreter, stressed the fact that President Anastasiades’ visit was the first visit of a President of the Republic of Cyprus to Montenegro, noting that this visit takes place a few days after the anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic relations.

“This is a historic visit, a historic event and an opportunity to deepen our friendly bilateral relations”, the President of Montenegro said, adding that “our cooperation is of a high level both at the bilateral level and in the framework of the EU, because Montenegro, although not an EU member state, follows the Union’s foreign policy.

There is also cooperation between small European countries in a number of areas. There is ample room for the development of economic cooperation, because we believe that the economic structures of our countries are very similar, tourism is a key sector for both countries and there is potential to exchange knowledge and experience in this field.

We have agreed that our geopolitical position in the Mediterranean offers us many opportunities for cooperation. We talked about shipping, fisheries. We have excellent cooperation in foreign affairs, in the fight against illegal trafficking and we want to develop cooperation in the field of science and culture.

When we refer to multilateral relations, we express gratitude to Cyprus for its assistance towards Montenegro and towards all the Western Balkan countries to achieve our European goals, because Cyprus has enormous experience and can help us with the know-how. We need this help”.

He also said that “I am encouraged by President Anastasiades’ statements that the EU has the determination to turn its attention to the Western Balkans and a united Europe is the guarantor of stability throughout Europe”.

Finally, he said that the meeting with President Anastasiades was essential and expressed gratitude for the hospitality of the people of Montenegro residing in Cyprus, which constitutes, as he said, their second homeland. “Cyprus has a state policy that offers quality of life. People from Montenegro living in Cyprus constitute a very strong link between the two countries,” he concluded.