The main focus of the Political Section of the High Commission is to work for the further enhancement of the existing excellent relations and cooperation between Cyprus and South Africa on the bilateral and the multilateral field. It also follows the current political developments in South Africa and informs accordingly the Cypriot Foreign Ministry.
The political section of the Embassy follows also developments and deals with the overview and promotion of the bilateral relations of Cyprus with the other countries of the Southern African Region the High Commission is accredited, namely Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Mauritius and Madagascar.
CYPRUS – SOUTH AFRICA
Diplomatic relations between South Africa and the Republic of Cyprus were established on 10 December 1993. Immediately after, South Africa appointed as first High Commissioner to Cyprus Ambassador Paul Coetzee (18.4.1994) with residence in Athens and Mr. Andreas Artemis as Honorary Consul-General in Nicosia. In March 1994 Cyprus opened a Consulate General in Johannesburg which was closed at the beginning of 1999 when the Cyprus High Commission was established in Pretoria. The first Cypriot High Commissioner, Ambassador Elias Eliades, presented his credentials in April 1999.
During the apartheid period, Cyprus imposed sanctions against the racist regime and a number of Cypriots joined the supporters of the movement for the democratic transformation of South Africa. Dr. Vassos Lyssarides, veteran Cypriot politician and former President of the House of Representatives, served as head of ICSA (International Committee in Solidarity with South Africa) which worked vigorously for the release of Nelson Mandela and the end of apartheid in South Africa and as Vice President of the Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Organisation (A.A.P.S.O.). ICSA was always in close cooperation with the A.N.C. and Committees were formed in most countries in Europe as well as in some African countries and many campaigns were organized. With Nelson Mandela in prison, Oliver Tambo, as Acting President of the A.N.C., visited Cyprus at the invitation of Dr. Lyssarides. There was a close friendship between them and they cooperated in many international and national meetings.
Cyprus has excellent and long-standing bilateral relations with South Africa. The large and influential Cypriot community in South Africa which numbers around 25.000 people is playing a decisive role to that end. This Community serves as a link between Cyprus and South Africa in both the political and the economic fields. The relations between the two countries are developing more during the past few years and there is optimism for further improvement, especially in the fields of trade and investments. This was best illustrated by the very successful visits to Cyprus by the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Mr. Ebrahim Ebrahim (July 2011) and the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Mrs Maite Nkoana-Mashabane (21 September 2012). A significant number of bilateral agreements are under consideration by the two sides.
Agreements signed between Cyprus and South Africa
1. Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations
Date signed: 10.12.1993
Entry into force: 10.12.1993
2. Memorandum of Understanding between the Aeronautical Authorities of the Republic of Cyprus and the Republic of South Africa
Date signed: 03.041996
Entry into force: 03.04.1996
3. Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital
Date signed: 26.11.1997
Entry into force: 08.12.1998
4. Memorandum of Understanding on Military and Technical Cooperation
Date signed: 16.11.1999
Entry into force: 16.11.1999
5. Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Cyprus and the Government of the Republic of South Africa on Police Cooperation
Date signed: 14.07.2010
Entry into force: 04.07.2012
6. Protocol Amending the Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital
Date signed: 01.04.2015
Entry into force: