RIGA - It is in the interests of both Cyprus and Latvia that the European Union (EU) had a united, firm and effective foreign policy, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) told journalists Wednesday following a meeting with Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides.
The Latvian minister indicated that both countries are interested in strengthening the role of the EU's external action service and to take an active part in forming the bloc's foreign policy. Rinkevics noted that in a way, Christodoulides' visit to Latvia is symbolic as Latvia and Cyprus are marking the 30th anniversary of their diplomatic ties this year.
Rinkevics informed that his talks with the Cypriot counterpart dealt with strengthening bilateral political dialogue and mutual support in international organizations. Rinkevics said that they also discussed issues concerning the Covid-19 pandemic, vaccination and prospects for returning to life as normal, including travel.
"We also discussed how to speed up the introduction of the so called European green travel passport, which is still in the process of development. We also discussed complicated issues - the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus reunification talks, on which our position is very clear. We are interested in a long-term settlement of the UN-led process and believe that settling this issue based on these principles, is in the interests of both Cyprus and the EU," said Rinkevics.
Christodoulides said that his visit to Latvia reflects the significance of the two countries' relationship and the need to strengthen it. While discussing tourism, the Cypriot minister informed Rinkevics about the Cypriot government's decision to allow tourists entry Cyprus without restrictions as of May 10.
"We have many issues that are also on the EU's agenda. I have to say that Cyprus and Latvia are relatively small EU member states, so we have a common interest to see the EU's active involvement in strengthening neighborhood relations and political dialogue, so we can have a predictable future," said Christodoulides.
Commenting on the recent UN-sponsored talks in Geneva on Cyprus' settlement, Christodoulides said that the talks, in which the EU participated as an observer, failed to provide the desired result.