Prime Minister Jüri Ratas met with President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia on Monday, where they discussed the priorities of Estonia's upcoming presidency of the Council of the EU and other topical subjects both in the EU and elsewhere.
"Estonia and Cyprus have great relations despite the geographical distance between the two countries," Ratas said according to a government press release. "Cyprus is a successful example of implementing an economic program and exiting an economic crisis. We conduct close cooperation in the fields of economy and ICT."
According to the Estonian prime minister, better understanding of one another in terms of digital topics is especially beneficital in light of Estonia's upcoming EU presidency, during which digital matters are a central connecting theme across various topics. Thus, he noted, Cyprus will definitely b a constructive partner for Estonia in these matters.
Ratas expressed hope during the meeting that Cyprus' accession negotiations would come to a just and feasible solution, as prescribed by corresponding UN resolutions. "By nature, the EU is a peace project and a breakthrough in Cyprus' accession negotiations would be a crown jewel for any presiding country. We hope that the two communities leading this process will reach a consensus in accession negotiations."
The Estonian prime minister expressed support for Cyprus and hope that Turkey will recognize the commitment, taken on with the Ankara Protocol, to treat all member states of the EU equally within the Customs Union.
"Our aim is to build and support a Europe with an open and innovative economy, keep Europe secure, promote a digital Europe and the free movement of data, and ensure that the activity of the EU is inclusive and sustainable," Ratas said in commenting the priorities of Estonia's upcoming EU presidency. According to the prime minister, one of Estonia's most important tasks in its presidency will be to maintain unity and quorum within the EU.
The head of government of the incoming EU presidency typically visits a number of member states beforehand in order to present and promote the priorities and program of their country's presidency and discuss opportunities for closer cooperation.
On a one-day trip on Monday, Ratas visited Greece and Cyprus before returning to Estonia on Monday night. Last week, Ratas visited Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Romania on a three-day trip to the region.
Editor: Aili Vahtla