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Cyprus seeks help from e-government pioneer Estonia

Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas in Nicosia on Monday night

Cyprus hopes to benefit from Estonia’s extensive knowledge and know-how in electronic governance, in which the Baltic state is an admirable pioneer, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Monday, welcoming Prime Minister Taavi Roivas to Cyprus on an official visit.

In his speech after signing a memorandum of understanding in e-governance and information and communication technologies, Anastasiades said the two men discussed bilateral relations and examined ways to further strengthen them.

“I am convinced that your visit will signal the beginning of enhanced cooperation not only in e-governance, but also in an array of fields, including trade and education,” the president said.

“I [also] briefed Prime Minister Roivas on the latest developments in the negotiations for a settlement of the Cyprus problem, and thanked him for his country’s principled stance.”

Items on the agenda for discussion were also the humanitarian migration crisis and the situation in Ukraine.

Roivas, the first Estonian premier ever to visit Cyprus, expressed the hope that Cyprus is reunited “very soon”.

“Although I have been in Cyprus only half a day, I can see there is hope for a solution to the Cyprus problem,” he said.

He praised Cyprus for managing to exit an unprecedented economic crisis in record time, deeming it a “success story”.

Roivas arrived late in the afternoon, heading a seven-man delegation which had expanded talks with Anastasiades and Cypriot delegates, before signing the MoU.

Anastasiades then hosted a dinner in honour of Roivas and his delegation at the Presidential Palace.

In his toast at the dinner, Anastasiades said Cyprus and Estonia share many similarities.

“We are both small European countries,” he said.

“However, our respective strategic locations allow us to play a leading role in the EU and even beyond.”

The visit, the president said, “bear witness to the ever-closer partnership that is developing” between Cyprus and Estonia, “together with our joint commitment to further enhance our cooperation”.

Roivas’ visit was scheduled months in advance, after the director of Estonia’s e-government academy arrived to Cyprus to review and record the status of various departments of the public sector.


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