It is a pleasure to be here with you today to celebrate the Statehood Day of the Republic of Serbia. I take this opportunity to convey on behalf of President Anastasiades and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus, our heartfelt congratulations and warmest wishes for further progress and prosperity to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Serbia, the Government and the friendly people of Serbia.
Our countries enjoy today a shared vision of international peace and democracy. This common vision, along with our age-old bonds, has created naturally strong ties of close friendship and mutual understanding. We stand ready to further broaden our ties and tap into the full potential of our partnership, for the benefit of our peoples. The presence of a very vibrant Serbian community in Cyprus, which constitutes a substantive component of the Cypriot society, undoubtedly plays a significant role in fulfilling this common goal and is also a fine sample of the true friendship between our two peoples.
The Government of Cyprus highly values Serbia’s steadfast support for a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem based on the relevant UNSC Resolutions, International and EU Law, as well as its past contribution to the UN Peacekeeping Force on the island. We express our sincere hope to reach a comprehensive settlement that will finally reunify our island, ensuring conditions of safety for the future Cypriot generations, without the presence of foreign troops or guarantees.
Turkey's illegal actions in the maritime zones of Cyprus in violation of international law and of the sovereignty and sovereign rights of Cyprus, constitute a threat to the peace, security and stability of the Eastern Mediterranean region. It is, therefore, vitally important for the international community to voice its concerns against such provocative actions and call for the peaceful settlement of disputes, in accordance with international law.
In this respect, I would like to convey our appreciation to Serbia for publicly expressing last June its principled stance vis-ΰ-vis the international law of the sea and solidarity with Cyprus, as well as its support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus, including the sovereign rights of Cyprus to explore and exploit its natural wealth in its EEZ.
Allow me at this point to reiterate Cyprus’ unwavering respect to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia in line with UN SC Resolution 1244 (1999) and the UN Charter. We fully support Serbia’s efforts to reach a mutually acceptable and sustainable solution for Kosovo and Metohija within the EU facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. We hope that the Kosovo authorities will promptly lift the tariffs imposed on Serbian imports in November 2018, for the dialogue to be able to resume as soon as possible.
Last but not least, let me underline that Cyprus will continue to be a strong advocate of Serbia’s European perspective. Serbia’s future lies within the E.U. Rest assured that, in this long and difficult journey, Serbia can count on the support of Cyprus.
In closing, let us all raise our glasses in congratulating the Government and the people of Serbia on this joyous occasion, and wish them peace and prosperity for the future.