President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Jüri Ratas and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides discussed the strengthening of bilateral relations, developing of digital governance services and possibilities of the development of tourism at their meeting today.
“Cyprus is our strong and important partner in the European Union,” Ratas said. “Estonia and Cyprus are also connected by the fact that we both joined the EU in the same year, in 2004. Under the flag of the European Union, we stand for common values.”
Ratas recalled the digital summit held in Tallinn during the Estonian Presidency, and emphasised that Estonia was always ready to share its experience of digital governance. “We could always do more in the field of digital collaboration,” Ratas said. He pointed out that Cyprus had actively used the possibility of e-residency of Estonia, and noted that 64 Cypriot citizens were Estonian e-residents and had established around ten companies in Estonia.
Ratas said that many Estonian people liked to spend their vacation in Cyprus. He expressed hope that, although the restrictions relating to the pandemic had had a great impact on travelling, Cyprus would remain one of the most popular tourism destinations for Estonians.
At the meeting, Ratas and Christodoulides also spoke of the current political situation in both Cyprus and Estonia, the future of the European Union, the relations between Cyprus and Turkey, and the possibility that the gas pipeline connecting Cyprus, Egypt and Israel could also reach Europe and provide an alternative to Russian gas in the future.
Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus. He emphasised the importance of transatlantic relations and the role of small states in shaping the common foreign policy of the European Union.
The future and unity of the European Union, as well as the global power relations were also discussed at the meeting. Mihkelson and Christodoulides spoke of the sanctions against Russia relating to the situation in Ukraine and Belarus. They also underlined the need to enhance the role of the EU in managing the conflicts in the Mediterranean region. They both admitted that, in order to achieve that, it was necessary to have greater unity in the EU, including closer cooperation between small countries.
Photos of the meeting (Erik Peinar, Riigikogu)
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