28 May 2014 11:45

Cyprus and Slovakia would be very negatively affected by possible tougher EU sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis, President Anastasiades said.
That's why a coalition within the EU is necessary to confront this and other common problems, he added after talks in Limassol with Slovak Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak.
On Monday, Lajcak met Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides (photo) who said the two exchanged views on bilateral issues as well as on Ukraine's presidential elections on Sunday and prospects for de-escalation of the crisis.
"We consider the presence of Mr Lajčák in Nicosia as an acknowledgement of the value of enhanced bilateral cooperation between our two countries," Kasoulides told a joint press conference at the foreign ministry.
"Effectively, in tackling the several challenges confronted by the EU today," he added.
Lajčák, who left the island last night after a two-day visit, referred to the Cyprus problem and said Bratislava is committed to a just, viable and peaceful settlement.
He visited to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Slovakia's offering good office services in bringing together Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political parties for a bi-communal dialogue.
He wished that there will be no 30th anniversary in five years' time and that the Cyprus problem gets to be part of history by then.
"We will do all we can to contribute to this success… evidence to this is the signing of a political declaration, the "Nicosia Joint Communiqué", at a meeting in Ledra Palace," he said.
Slovakia has participated in UNFICYP since 2001, with the country's number of peacekeepers exceeding 2,100 to date. Today, there are 157 Slovak soldiers and two police officers serving on the island.
"We will continue to stay on as long as necessary" Lajčák said.
The two EU countries have also signed a cooperation agreement in the field of health and medical science.
The agreement was signed between Lajcak and Health Minister Philippos Patsalis who said in a statement: "This agreement opens new horizons for cooperation between Cyprus and Slovakia."
Patsalis added: "Provisions of the agreement include  training of health personnel, health promotion and disease prevention, as well as cooperation in epidemiological control."


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