Press Statement by H.E. Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus (28 April 2017, New Delhi)
It is a distinct honor and pleasure to be paying a state visit to India following the invitation by Prime Minister Modi; this truly remarkable country with ancient roots, and an admirable modern global footprint. I have enormous respect and admiration for this great nation and its people.
I was deeply touched during my visit to the Gandhi smriti and the mausoleum of Gandhi a world visionary who maintained a very special relationship with Cyprus that we treasure.
Our meeting today is yet another stepping stone in our common history. It has offered an opportunity to take stock of our relations, and explore concrete ways in which to take our relations forward, by identifying specific areas where we can work together to modernize our relationship and amplify the benefits for both sides.
I am particularly pleased that today we have signed four bilateral agreements in the important areas of Merchant Shipping, Aviation, Agriculture, as well as Cultural, Educational and Scientific Cooperation. These agreements further enhance the long-standing relations between our two countries, and add to extensive existing legal framework, which includes 16 existing bilateral Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding.
Prime Minister Modi and I share the assessment that our bilateral relations are excellent, and we have discussed ways and areas where we must further promote the cooperation between India and Cyprus in the economic, investment and tourism fields.
We are ready to explore enhanced cooperation in fields such as renewable energy, solar energy, information technology and innovation where India is a pioneer. Cyprus welcomes the participation of Indian companies in the development of knowledge-based industries, and I would like to extend an invitation to Indian companies to consider investing in a technological park in Cyprus, which will provide them easy access to Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf Region.
Our cooperation at the multilateral level provides ample opportunity to intensify our efforts in addressing global and regional challenges. Cyprus and India, as we have noted earlier, are like-minded countries, and we will continue to promote our cooperation in order to contribute to stability, prosperity and security in the world. In this context, we exchanged views on developments in our respective regions and on international issues of common concern, such as migration and conflict resolution.
We also discussed the EU-India relations and the potential that the strategic partnership between the two offers. The EU and India share common values, in particular as regards the rule of law, democracy, multilateralism, free and fair trade. Cyprus is a firm supporter of the enhancement of the EU-India strategic partnership and dynamic cooperation in all areas of mutual interest. In this context, I expressed our sincere support for tangible progress in the negotiations for the conclusion of an EU-India Free Trade Agreement.
In addition, Prime Minister Modi and I concurred on the crucial importance of the EU and India working closely together, with a view to effectively tackling major global challenges, such as climate change, sustainable development, the protection of maritime environment and international terrorism.
During our meeting today, I also had the opportunity to brief Prime Minister Modi on the latest developments in the negotiations for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, outlining the challenges we face and the stumbling blocks that inhibit further progress. I underlined our unwavering commitment to reunify our country and its people, in a functional and viable bi-communal, bi-zonal federation, in line with UN Security Council Resolutions and EU law, values and principles.
I wish to publicly express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Prime Minister, and the Indian government, for the principled stance and unequivocal support India offers to Cyprus in our efforts for a just solution, that will safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus. Cyprus is also deeply grateful for India’s long-standing troop and police contribution to UNFICYP.
Given the character of my state visit and the expansive discussions we had on the need to enhance our cooperation in sectoral areas I am glad to announce the establishment of a ministerial working group the work of which will reinforce and provide much needed political direction to the work of the existing joint intergovernmental committee.
Closing, I would like to once again express my gratitude for the exceptional hospitality extended to me and my delegation on this visit, and to also extent an invitation to you dear Prime Minister to visit Cyprus thereby allowing us to reciprocate this exceptional hospitality.