Cyprus & Malta

Though separated by half the length of the Mediterranean, the island nations of Cyprus and Malta have shared Roman, Greek, Ottoman, Arab and British influences through history. Nonaligned during the Cold War, they both still signed pacts with the European Community in the early 1970s. In 2004, they joined the EU, the grouping's only Commonwealth nations other than Britain. Over the past decade, they've emerged as surprise economic successes in an unsteady Europe.

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