Christodoulidis welcomed the German President at the Presidential Palace (EIKONES)

His historic visit coincides with the completion of 50 years since the Turkish invasion and continued occupation

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The President of the Republic, Mr. Nikos Christodoulidis, welcomed today, at the Presidential Palace, the President of Germany, Mr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who from today is making the first official visit of a German President to the Republic of Cyprus.

President Steinmeier arrived at 9 am at the Presidential Palace, where he was received by President Christodoulidis, while a military parade paid tribute.

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After the National Anthems of the two countries were played, the German President laid a wreath at the statue of the National Archer Makarios III, in the forecourt of the Presidential Palace.

This was followed by a private meeting between the two Presidents and a presentation of medals on both sides.

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During the meeting, President Christodoulidis welcomed his German counterpart, noting that his historic visit coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Turkish invasion and continued occupation, as well as the 20th anniversary of the "most important development in the history of Cyprus, its accession to the European Union (EU)".

He added that bilateral relations between Cyprus and Germany are excellent and both countries work together in the EU and have identical positions on many important regional and international issues.

Addressing his German counterpart, the President of the Republic said: "You are visiting a region facing serious challenges. Cyprus is the closest EU member in the region, a country with excellent relations with all neighboring states and we are doing everything we can to create conditions of stability.

I look forward to our talks, bearing in mind that my first visit since taking office was to Berlin, where I met the Chancellor. I am sure that your visit will pave the way to strengthen our bilateral relations, but also to face common challenges.

In the EU we are at a critical stage, we must discuss the future of our common European family. Cyprus is in favor of [European] integration," he noted.

He added that Mr. Steinmeier has a lot of experience and, among other things, has served as Foreign Minister during difficult times for Europe and the region."

For his part, the President of Germany said that he has already visited Cyprus twice as Foreign Minister, adding that we are living in times of intense challenges in the region, but also that all of Europe is suffering from the war in Ukraine.

He also referred to the situation in the Middle East, noting that a solution must be found to the enormous humanitarian crisis unfolding due to the war.

Afterwards, the President of the Republic presented President Steinmeier with the Great Necklace of the Order of Makarios III, while the President of Germany presented President Christodoulides with the Grand Cross of the Order of the Federal Republic of Germany.

During the award ceremony, President Christodoulidis pointed out that in essence they are receiving the awards on behalf of the two peoples and this creates an obligation for the two countries to further strengthen their relations.