President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades, and the President of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, highlighted the need to further strengthen the institutional framework of cooperation between the Republic of Cyprus and the State of Palestine, as well as the need for closer cooperation between the political, business and scientific communities in areas of common interest, after their meeting on Tuesday.
The two leaders also stressed the need to respect the international law and to resolve any disputes on the basis of the provisions of the United Nations Charter, in the light of developments in Ukraine and the two major ongoing problems, the Cyprus and Palestinian issues.
In his statements to the media, President Anastasiades said that the visit of the President of the State of Palestine to Cyprus "confirms not only the historic ties between our peoples, but also our determination and will to further deepen our bilateral cooperation", and welcomed the signing of two Memoranda of Understanding in the field of diplomatic training and development cooperation.
"During today's consultations with President Abbas, we agreed on the need to further strengthen the institutional cooperation framework between the two countries and the need for closer cooperation between the political, business and scientific communities in areas of common interest, such as tourism, education, medicine, addressing the new conditions of climate change and adopting measures to deal with it," the President said.
He added that the two sides examined ways of strengthening trilateral cooperation and the necessity of convening a Cyprus-Greece-Palestine Trilateral Summit, "a trilateral summit that complements does not exclude the participation of any third country".
Referring to the regional cooperation, President Anastasiades thanked President Abbas for the latter's support for Cyprus' initiative to address the effects of climate change in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as for offering to assist the Republic of Cyprus in extinguishing the devastating fires of last July, adding that "it is precisely this practical solidarity that led us to take a new initiative to create a regional firefighting base in the Eastern Mediterranean region".
In addition, the President of the Republic referred to the discussions between the two leaders on Ukraine, as well as on the "two major and long-standing problems, the Palestinian and the Cyprus problem".
"The recent events in Ukraine once again highlight in the most obvious way the need to respect international law and to resolve any disputes on the basis of the provisions of the UN Charter and the relevant international treaties, principles which, if applied as the Charter envisages, would prevent regional disputes or even revisionist attitudes by UN member states", President Anastasiades noted, while assuring President Abbas that "despite the equally excellent relations we have with Israel, these are not and will not be to the detriment of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians".
"The Republic of Cyprus remains firmly committed to the long-standing and clear position for the achievement of a peaceful and just solution to the Palestinian problem, always on the basis of the United Nations resolutions," he said, adding that thanks to the excellent relations it maintains with all the states in the region, Cyprus is available, if requested, to play a concrete role towards the achievement of permanent peace in the region.
The President of the Republic also referred to the briefing he provided to the President of the Palestinian State on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and the new challenges Cyprus is facing as a result of Turkey's attempt to create new faits accomplis, while he also conveyed his disappointment at the rejection of the confidence-building measures,
Finally, President Anastasiades thanked the Palestinian state for its principled stance on the Cyprus problem, as well as for its support for the efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem.
On his part, President Abbas said that Cyprus is a friendly country of Palestine and praised the level of relations between the governments and the relations between the two peoples.
He added that it is the wish of the Palestinian side that the bilateral relations have a lasting development and said he is convinced "that this visit to Cyprus and all the visits and contacts that follow at the political and economic level, as well as activities of the inter-ministerial committee will bring mumkch to the benefit of strengthening bilateral relations" and thanked Cyprus for its firm stance on the Palestinian issue and its constant call for peace.
Abbas also referred to "the complete stagnation in peace efforts due to the current Israeli government's stance which has suspended the agreements", adding that there must be an international rally against the challenges facing Palestine.
"We are ready to assist in any efforts for peace, including the efforts of the President of the Republic of Cyprus, in general initiatives based on international legitimacy," he added, while also referring to the importance of the European Union's support to Palestine.
Finally, he extended an invitation to President Anastasiades to visit Palestine, expressing special appreciation to the President of the Republic and to Cyprus for what they offer to the Palestinian people.