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Anastasiades hopes to strengthen ties with Mongolia

Leaders stand for a minute of silence for the victims of a deadly attack in the French city of Nice, before the opening session of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in Ulan Bator, Mongolia

President Nicos Anastasiades discussed bilateral relations and the Cyprus problem with his Mongolian counterpart Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj during his visit in Ulaanbaatar to attend the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM11), an official announcement said on Friday.

The president, who departed for Mongolia on Wednesday to attend the ASEM, discussed on the sidelines with Elbegdorj the possibility of a double taxation avoidance agreement between the two countries, ways to strengthen bilateral relations, and Mongolia-EU relations, the announcement said.

It added Anastasiades briefed his Mongolian counterpart on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem.

Anastasiades also met with the Indian Vice President, Mohammad Hamid Ansari, and discussed bilateral relations and the successful completion of negotiations on double taxation avoidance. Indian President Pranab Mukherjee is expected to visit Cyprus in September to sign the agreement.

At the two-day summit, which began on Friday, Anastasiades addressed the plenary session, titled “Two Decades of Partnership: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead”.

He said Cyprus was a strong supporter of strengthening connectivity between Asia and Europe in all its forms.

“The EU and the ASEM through their initiatives and together with other countries like China with its initiative “One Belt, One Road”, promote a considerable effort to create connectivity through intraregional networks, their projects and policies, in a number of areas,” the president said.

“We believe that there are areas of cooperation within ASEM where a more collective approach would offer common benefits.”

The first area is maritime safety, and transport, he said. “Cyprus, as a leading maritime nation and flag, attaches great importance to sustainability and the connectivity of critical maritime routes and to this end we recognise the added value in finding synergies, like that between the Maritime Silk Road and the Trans-European Network projects”.

The second area is air transportations where there was still work to do in terms of equal access to destinations and routes. He added that a third area was security in all its dimensions, including energy security.

“Today our countries are facing various threats and I am a strong supporter of joint actions that promote a collective security culture in an enhanced Europe-Asia framework,“ the president said.

Anastasiades, who is accompanied by the government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides, will return to Cyprus in the evening of July 18.



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