Slovenian Foreign Minister Ance Logar visited Cyprus over the weekend, where he met with Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides, President Nicos Anastasiades and President Adamos Adamou.
Logar presented to his interlocutors the basic elements of the priorities of the agenda of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Under the circumstances marked by the coronavirus crisis, under its chairmanship Slovenia will focus mainly on measures to mitigate its economic, financial and social consequences and on efforts to strengthen the Union’s resilience in crisis management and cyber security. It is also important for the incoming presidency to exchange views on other areas, including European solidarity.
In his meeting with Cypriot Foreign Minister Christodoulides, bilateral ties, EU issues, the Cyprus issue and Slovenia’s desire to join MED7 topped the Logar agenda, stressing the need for co-operation between small and Mediterranean countries. .
Christodoulides said Cypriot-Slovenian ties were excellent and had been strengthened in recent years, highlighting co-operation in the fields of tourism, education, culture, business and trade.
According to the Cypriot Minister, Logar briefed him on Slovenia’s intention to join the group of seven EU Mediterranean countries (MED7) currently comprising Cyprus, Greece, France, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain. Christodoulides assured that Cyprus fully supports the idea.
Logar described the talks as excellent and noted that small Member States need to work together in areas of common interest that may not be so important to larger countries. He said Slovenia wanted to join MED7 because, like all Mediterranean countries, it wants to have a stronger say in dealing with common issues.
The Slovenian minister also outlined the priorities of Slovenia’s EU presidency and promised that Slovenia would try to reach a comprehensive solution to the new EU asylum and migration legislation, one that would consider front-line countries such as Cyprus.
The issue of the split island was also discussed, as the Cypriot foreign minister stressed that everyone should refrain from any illegal action and provocation that could jeopardize efforts to reunite the island.
Christodoulides said Logar understood that the key was to reach a comprehensive settlement in line with UN resolutions and EU law, values and principles. He stressed that a reunited Cyprus should be a functioning European country, stable and modern.
The Slovenian Foreign Ministry stated in a press release that the visit was aimed at “maintaining good relations with Slovenia’s natural partner and strengthening co-operation with countries in the Mediterranean”.
The ministers identified opportunities for closer co-operation in areas of common interest, as the two countries share membership in the European Union, as well as the same European values and coastal location. It is also important that economic cooperation between the two countries is strengthened, as Cyprus’ direct investments in the Republic of Slovenia represent a significant part of total foreign investment.