Speech by Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos on the occasion of Slovakia’s Constitution Day and the 30 years anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Cyprus and Slovakia
Nicosia, 05 September 2023
Your Excellency, Distinguished guests, dear friends,
It is with great pleasure that I am joining you this evening, for a double celebration; namely the Constitution Day of the Slovak Republic, as well as the 30 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries.
In 1993, following the adoption of the Constitution, the Slovak Republic established a diplomatic mission in Nicosia, which has, ever since, contributed to the building of a strong relationship of cooperation and friendship between the two countries and their people.
The common foundation has been our shared values of democracy, respect for human rights, the rule of law, and our common dedication to multilateralism and to international legality.
We have worked to develop a strong bilateral cooperation in various fields, such as culture, defense, education, and health.
Furthermore, with the accession of both our countries to the European Union in 2004, we have added another important layer of collaboration within the framework of our common European family.
Slovakia’s presence in Cyprus has been very constructive throughout the years for two additional, and very important, reasons.
Firstly, it has been offering its good offices by bringing together and fostering dialogue between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political parties. And this is something that is paving the way for our common, joined future.
Secondly, Slovakia has also been contributing to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force (UNFICYP) for over 20 years providing a contingent, thus practically ensuring that the peacekeeping force can fulfil its important mandate, as stated in the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.
Both contributions are highly appreciated.
At this point I want to reiterate the importance of the role of UNFICYP and this has also been demonstrated with the recent events that took place in the Buffer Zone in the area of Pyla, where the occupying forces assaulted and injured members of the peacekeeping force in a clear violation of the status quo of the buffer zone.
These actions were immediately condemned by the European Union and by the international community, sending a clear message that such actions will not be accepted or tolerated.
I take this opportunity to also thank Slovakia for its principled stance over the years on the Cyprus problem, and its support for a just and viable settlement in accordance with the agreed framework of a Bizonal Bi-communal Federation with political equality, as prescribed in the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.
I would also like to extend my personal gratitude to the soldiers who are here with us today for all their efforts in the last few days in the area of Pyla.
Tonight, we were also able to visit the Photo Exhibition organized by the Embassy of the Slovak Republic and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, in collaboration with the Press and Information Office of the Republic.
The exhibition showcases and presents important events of the last three decades in the areas of diplomacy, culture, and innovation. It is also a testament to Slovakia’s participation in UNFICYP and its continual support for the bi-communal dialogue between political parties.
Dear Martin, with these thoughts, allow me to congratulate you on this very important day and to raise my glass to the prosperity of the Slovak people and to the further enhancement of our bilateral relations.
05 September 2023