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India-Cyprus Joint Statement during the State Visit of the President of Cyprus to India (April 25-29, 2017)

India-Cyprus Joint Statement during the State Visit of President of Cyprus to India (April 25-29, 2017)

April 29, 2017

1. At the invitation of the President of the Republic of India, H.E. Shri Pranab Mukherjee, the President of the Republic of Cyprus, H.E. Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, is on a State Visit to India from 25-29 April 2017.

2. The President of Cyprus is accompanied by a high level delegation comprising of Minister of Finance Mr. Haris Georgiades, Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Mr. Georgios Lakkotrypis, Minister of Transport, Communication and Works Mr. Marios Demetriades, Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Mr. Nicos Kouyalis, Government Spokesman Mr. Nikos Christodoulides and other senior officials.

3. President Anastasiades was accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhawan. President Anastasiades also laid a wreath at the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the Indian Nation. During the visit, the President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee held a meeting with President Anastasiades, and hosted a banquet in honour of President Anastasiades. The Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi held a one-to-one meeting followed by discussions at delegation level with President Anastasiades. The Minister of External Affairs of India, Smt. Sushma Swaraj called on President Anastasiades.

4. President Anastasiades is accompanied by a high-level business delegation. In New Delhi, he addressed a luncheon meeting of representatives of the Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry – CII, FICCI and ASSOCHAM and delivered a lecture at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF). President Anastasiades also visited Mumbai for a business event and had a meeting with Governor of Maharashtra.

5. India and Cyprus-A Historic relationship

  • During the meeting between President Anastasiades and Prime Minister Modi, the two Leaders reaffirmed the traditionally close and time-tested friendship between India and Cyprus. They also underlined their mutual commitment to further strengthen and diversify this relationship. They noted that the ties between the two countries went back to even before the independence of Cyprus in 1960. They recalled the ideological commonalities and mutual respect between the founding fathers of the two nations, Mahatma Gandhi and Archbishop Makarios.
  • Both sides reviewed with satisfaction the state of play of bilateral relations, covering a wide spectrum of political, economic, trade and cultural issues. They agreed that the long tradition of political collaboration at bilateral and multilateral level provide a valuable base to take relations forward, which is underpinned on shared values of democracy, rule of law, international peace, security and shared prosperity and development for all nations.

6. India-Cyprus-A Cooperative Partnership
  • The friendship between the two countries has translated into cooperation and support for each other at multiple levels. Both Leaders agreed that such cooperation would help in addressing concerns related to global energy security, environmental protection and sustainable and equitable development.
  • Prime Minister Modi reiterated India’s unwavering and consistent support for the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of the Republic of Cyprus. President Anastasiades briefed Prime Minister Modi on the current state of play in the ongoing efforts to reunify the Republic of Cyprus, through a functional, viable comprehensive settlement, in line with UNSC Resolutions and EU law.
  • Prime Minister Modi further commended President Anastasiades for taking several important foreign policy initiatives and thereby enhancing Cyprus’s profile in the international arena.

7. Investment promotion for shared prosperity
  • Both Leaders noted the current levels of bilateral trade between the two nations and agreed that it has immense potential for growth.
  • The two Leaders expressed satisfaction on the signing of revised India-Cyprus Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement in November 2016. Prime Minister Modi suggested that the revision of the Agreement could be utilized to increase investments between the two countries, especially in Indian flagship programmes like Make in India and various Cyprus investment projects. Both Leaders emphasized the need for a comprehensive expansion of mutually beneficial contacts between the business communities of the two countries.

8. Trade & Economics
  • The two Leaders took stock of progress in the implementation of existing bilateral agreements and underlined the importance of optimizing existing inter-governmental and other bilateral mechanisms.
  • Recognizing new opportunities in light of their growing economies, the two sides decided to make further use of the Joint Economic Committee as a mechanism that proposes recommendations to the two governments on ways and means to expand mutually beneficial cooperation in all areas of common interest.
  • President Anastasiades briefed Prime Minister Modi about the plan for developing the hi-tech sector in Cyprus as the third pillar of its economy. In light of India’s well-established capabilities in the fields of Information Technology, ITES, Biotechnology, and R&D, both sides identified these as potential areas for future cooperation.
  • The two sides also noted other potential areas for bilateral economic cooperation arising from Cyprus’ expertise in financial services and cooperation in knowledge-based industry relating to accountancy, legal and investment banking and merchant shipping research.
  • Both sides consider the energy sector as a high priority area and agreed on the scope for sharing India’s expertise with Cyprus in this regard. The two sides discussed various possibilities of forging long-term joint collaboration in promoting innovative renewable energy applications and environment friendly use of energy.

9. India-EU Relations

The two Leaders also discussed India-EU relations. The Republic of Cyprus, as a Member State of the European Union, reiterated its support for the strengthening of the India-EU Strategic Partnership based on shared values and principles and in line with the priorities set out in the India-EU Agenda for Action 2020. Both Leaders felt that India and the EU can work closely on major global issues, such as combating international terrorism, dealing with climate change and promotion of sustainable development.

10. NSG

Both Leaders underlined their shared interest in strengthening global non-proliferation objectives. In this context, Prime Minister Modi appreciated the support of Cyprus to India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. India's membership will enable it to contribute further to global non-proliferation objectives.

11. International Terrorism
  • The two sides exchanged views on developments in their respective regions and on international issues of common concern, most notably the fight against international terrorism and ways to reinforce measures to stem the financing of terrorism and disrupt the revenue stream towards terrorist groups. The two sides welcomed the recent adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2347(2017), aiming to combat the unlawful destruction of cultural heritage, religious sites and artefacts, and the smuggling of cultural property by terrorist groups during armed conflict. Both countries share the view that the successful conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism remains a priority and will be a decisive step to further strengthen the global normative framework that will support vigorous international action against terrorism.

12. UN Reforms
  • Both Leaders discussed the need for reform of the United Nations Security Council, including ways to make it more effective, efficient and representative of the contemporary geopoliticl challenges. The two Leaders expressed support to forward movement in the Intergovernmental Negotiations on United Nations Security Council reform, and reiterated their commitment to make continuous efforts to move towards text-based negotiations. President Anastasiades re-affirmed Cyprus’ support for the enhancement of the representative character of the United Nations Security Council expansion with India as a permanent member in an expanded United Nations Security Council.

13. Regional issues

President Anastasiades briefed Prime Minister Modi about the trilateral cooperation mechanisms that Cyprus and Greece have established with Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine respectively for the purpose of advancing dialogue and cooperation in various spheres in the Eastern Mediterranean and with the ultimate goal of promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

14. Agreements The following bilateral agreements and memorandum of understanding were exchanged in the presence of the two Leaders:
  • Merchant Shipping Agreement
  • Revised Civil Aviation Agreement.
  • Work Plan on cooperation in the field of agriculture.
  • Executive Programme for Cultural, Education and Scientific Cooperation
These will further enhance the longstanding relations between the two countries. In the framework of the newly-signed Protocol Amending the Air Services Agreement, it was agreed that both countries would focus on enhancing two-way tourism.
15. Conclusion
  • The Leaders agreed that regular exchanges of high-level visits will contribute in sustaining the momentum of bilateral relations.
  • President Anastasiades thanked the President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee for the gracious hospitality extended to him. He also thanked the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi.
  • In this context, President Anastasiades extended invitations to President Shri Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to visit Cyprus at a mutually convenient time.

New Delhi
April 28, 2017

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs
High Commission of the Republic of Cyprus in New Delhi