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Anastasiades’ London visit ‘highlights importance of Cyprus-UK relations’

President Anastasiades will visit the UK as a guest of the government from March 3 to 6 – a visit at the highest level.

“We are delighted to welcome President Anastasiades to London as a guest of the UK government from March 3 to 6 – the highest level visit ever by a Cypriot President to the UK,” the British High Commission commented on Friday.

The main difference from a ‘guest of government’ to a state visit is that during a state visit Anastasiades would stay at Buckingham Palace, which he is not going to do.

The invitation has several reasons. Anastasiades has not been in the UK for some time, and the British government believes relations between the two countries have never been better.

“This visit reflects the importance the UK attaches to our bilateral relationship, and our confidence that those relations will continue to develop and expand in the future, particularly in areas such as education and defence and security,” the High Commission commented.

“We welcome the many personal links the President has with the UK, including as one the estimated 40,000 Cypriots who have studied at our universities.”

Another reason for the visit, the British High Commission said, is the Prince of Wales’ interest in Cyprus and that he offered to host a reception ‘Celebrating Cyprus’ during this time, which is the cornerstone of the visit.

The reception, at Buckingham Palace, focuses on two things, the contribution of the Cyprus diaspora to British society and Cypriot cultural heritage.

The President will also have audiences with the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, and a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss issues of mutual interest including Brexit, the Cyprus Issue, expanding bilateral links in education and defence and security, and the Commonwealth.

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