The Cypriot president concluded a historic visit to Saudi Arabia, which has contributed to strengthening the cooperative relations between the two countries and sending special regional messages to Turkey.
The Cyprus mail journal reported that President Anastasiades’ official visit to Saudi Arabia, according to the Nicosia government, was "a historic visit", "a great national success", "comes to the benefit the Cypriot people and helps with the realization of the Cyprus' foreign policy objectives"
This is particularly important since it is the first visit by a Cypriot president to the Kingdom since the independence of Cyprus and after the cold and tensed relations between the two countries since 1963. This all was prior to the reopening of the Cypriot embassy in Riyadh in 2015 which was followed by appointing a Saudi ambassador to Athens, who is also accredited in Nicosia.
This visit is also very important for the Cypriot government and President Anastasiades, who is preparing for the upcoming elections, which he is trying to win by showing Cyprus as a major contributor to regional stability and cooperation which is achieved by strengthening relations with the biggest and most influential countries in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and also by making the most Make the most of Cyprus’ geo-strategic importance.
On the other hand, the report indicates that the historic visit of the Cypriot President to Saudi Arabia will greatly benefit Nicosia in dealing with its crisis with Turkey, where the formation of strategic alliances with countries with tense relations with Turkey, such as Saudi Arabia, is very useful to Cyprus in dealing with the current crisis with Ankara.
“Saudi-Turkish relations have been tempered by Ankara's rapprochement with Iran and its expansionist dreams to dominate and lead the Muslim world”, the report says.
Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said that "in the past years, we have noticed a change in the Saudi attitude in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation concerning the Cyprus crisis." Then he added, "We are no longer playing into the hands of Turkey in this organization".
He added that "many countries oppose Turkey in this organization”. King Salman has stressed during his meeting with Anastasiadis, that he supports the respect of international legitimacy and the UN Security Council resolutions regarding the Cyprus crisis with Turkey.
Anastasiadas said his visit "is especially useful to our Saudi friends. As a member of the European Union, we can contribute, as we do to other friendly countries, to a great extent in improving relations and decisions related to Saudi Arabia in the European Union".
A statement which, according to the report, represents an outspoken offer by Anastasiades to boost Saudi interests in the EU.