The third Cyprus-Serbia intergovernmental cooperation summit led by the two countries’ presidents Nikos Christodoulides and Aleksandar Vučić took place on Thursday in Belgrade.
Among those attending the summit were Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos, Defence Minister Michalis Giorgallas, Education Minister Athena Michaelidou, government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis, and deputy director of the Diplomatic Office Doros Venezis.
As part of the summit, three memorandums of understanding (MoU) were signed between the two countries in education, science, innovation and advanced technologies, as well as on between the states’ diplomatic academies.
According to a statement released by the presidential press office, “the first agreement, an MoU signed between the diplomatic academies of Cyprus and Serbia, aims to bolster mutual cooperation, enhance diplomatic staff education, and promote joint research activities.”
The second MoU focused on science, innovation, and advanced technologies cooperation, aims to facilitate collaboration in scientific and technological fields.
“It outlines efforts to support cooperation between various organisations and companies in areas including agriculture, biotechnology, climate change and energy efficiency, smart construction, robotics, and cultural heritage preservation,” the statement explained.
The third and final MoU focused on education, as the ministries of education will seek to strengthen collaboration in higher education, technical and vocational training, environmental education, non-formal learning, and teacher training.
A working lunch followd hosted by Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, in honour of the president and his delegation.
Christodoulides also met the Serbian Patriarch Porfirio at the patriarchate and visited Cypriot companies operating in Belgrade, accompanied by the Serbian minister of trade.
The patriarch warmly welcomed Christodoulides and the members of the Cypriot delegation, underlined the longstanding fraternal relations maintained between the Serbian patriarchate and the Cyprus church.
“Nine months into assuming my duties, my presence here signifies the importance we place on our exceptional relations with Serbia,” the president said.
“I am aware of your struggles, as we share similar concerns in our occupied territories regarding the destruction of our religious heritage, something that is unacceptable in 2023,” he added.
“The Republic of Cyprus staunchly supports Serbia’s positions, and I am here alongside three ministers to convey a message. It’s not just symbolic; it’s substantive.”
Christodoulides also told the patriarch that his administration is “deeply committed to further bolster the two country’s bilateral relations.”