The President of the Republic, Mr Demetris Christofias, received today, at a formal ceremony at the Presidential Palace, the credentials of the new Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Liu Xinsheng.
Presenting his credentials Mr Xinsheng said:
“Your Excellency Respected President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Demetris Christofias,
Today, I have the honour to present to Your Excellency the Letter of Credence by which His Excellency the President of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Hu Jintao, appoints me Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Cyprus. First of all, please allow me to convey a message of cordial greetings from His Excellency President Hu Jintao and on behalf of the Government and people of China, to extend high respects and good wishes to the Government and people of Cyprus.
Cyprus is a country with a long history and an ancient civilization. In recent years, the Republic of Cyprus and its people have enjoyed social stability, peace and contentment of life, and has made great contributions in maintaining regional peace and promoting regional cooperation. As an old friend, China witnesses with sincere delight and appreciation all the achievements you have made in economy, social developments and foreign relations. We wish you all the success in making new progress on your road of development.
The people of China and Cyprus share bonds of long-lasting friendship and solidarity. Over the years, with concerted effort between our two countries, Sino-Cypriot relations have been upgraded to a new level. Political trust has been deepened, mutual understanding and support on issues concerning each other’s major interest has been consolidated, cooperation in the fields of economy, culture, science and education has been pragmatic and fruitful, close communication and cooperation in international affairs has been maintained. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to developing friendly relations with Cyprus and upholds Cyprus as an all-sided friend and partner. Whatever changes may occur internationally, regionally of domestically, the Chinese Government’s policy of maintaining and further strengthening the warm and cordial relations between our two countries shall remain constant and unchanged. On the basis of shared principles of mutual respect, mutual benefit and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, China is willing to work with Cyprus in the endeavours of building a better future of bilateral cooperation.
I am deeply honoured to assume the port of China’s Ambassador to Cyprus, and also keenly aware of the weight of responsibility of this port. I assure you that I would spare no effort to contribute to better understanding of our two peoples as well as to broadening and deepening of our bilateral relations. I believe in my capacity as China’s Ambassador to Cyprus, I would get valuable assistance and support from Your Excellency and your Government.
May the Republic of Cyprus enjoy prosperity and its people well-being. May the friendly relations and cooperation between China and Cyprus remain consolidated and develop steadily. May Your Excellency enjoy good health”.
Replying, President Christofias said: “Excellency, it is with great pleasure that I receive today your Letters of Credence appointing you as the new Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Cyprus. While congratulating you on your appointment, I assure you that my Government and the people of Cyprus will provide you with every possible assistance in the performance of your high duties. I personally look forward to working with you to enhance and build on the excellent bilateral relations that exist between Cyprus and China.
Our two countries have, in these forty years of bilateral relations, enjoyed outstanding relations, as well as an excellent level of multilateral cooperation. The conclusion of a number of significant agreements provides tangible proof of the very strong framework of cooperation that exists between Cyprus and China. It is my Government’s intention to work for the further enhancement of the existing ties between our two countries in areas of mutual interest by also finalizing pending agreements.
The Government and the people of Cyprus highly appreciate China’s long-standing principled position on the Cyprus problem, as well as its constructive and positive stance within the United Nations Security Council. In this respect, I would like to assure you of the firm and unwavering stance of the Republic of Cyprus as regards its respect for the “One China Policy”. Moreover, Cyprus, as a member of the EU, and as Presidency of the Council of the European Union until December 2012, aims to contribute to the further development of China’s multidimensional relations with the EU. In this respect, we trust that the 15th EU-China Summit, scheduled in the coming days, will attain concrete deliverables in EU-China relations.
I very much look forward to paying an official visit to China in the near future with the aim to continuing our regular high-level contacts and exploring new ways of expanding our well-established cooperation.
The solution of the Cyprus problem, the ending of occupation and illegal colonization of settlers and the reunification of our country is our primary goal. This is why since my election to the Presidency in 2008 I immediately undertook initiatives to overcome the stalemate and reach a solution as soon as possible.
The direct talks between the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot community where launched in September 2008 under UN auspices with the aim to reach a mutually acceptable solution on the agreed basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, with political equality as described in the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions. For one Cypriot state, with a single and indivisible sovereignty, single international personality and a single citizenship, in a Cypriot-owned and Cypriot-led process.
Until the time Mr Mehmet Ali Talat was leader of the Turkish Cypriot community and our interlocutor at the negotiating table, important convergences were reached, despite the many difficulties and the slow pace. More progress had been expected, but this should not diminish the importance of the convergences that were achieved during this time.
Since May 2010, however, when Dr Dervis Eroglu became leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, progress has stalled. There has been a serious setback in the negotiations, with the talks at leaders-level having stopped.
The Turkish Cypriot side, under its new leadership, has failed to honour the agreed basis of the talks as well as the convergences reached with Mr Talat, despite Dr Eroglu’s commitment that he would be bound by them and would continue with the talks from the point they were left off with Talat.
It has also gradually become clear that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership have shifted away from a solution on the agreed basis and are promoting the upgrading of the illegal entity of the so-called ‘TRNC’ and a policy of two-state solution.
This is the reason why we are facing a deadlock with the Turkish Cypriot side refusing to sit at the negotiating table and in fact admitting that they wish for the end of this current negotiating process.
At the same time, Turkey continues to provoke and threaten, including challenging the sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus to explore and exploit its natural resources within its Exclusive Economic Zone. Such actions are a threat to regional peace and stability. I once again reiterate our strong belief that possible exploitation of hydrocarbons has the potential to contribute to peace, stability and prosperity in Cyprus and the entire region of the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as being beneficial for both communities of Cyprus.
Despite various threats from Ankara concerning the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Nicosia is firm in its commitment to objectively review Turkey’s accession negotiations, examine the possible opening of available chapters and cooperate constructively in line with the relevant European Council Conclusions to boost Ankara’s accession process.
Having said that, Turkey, as an EU candidate country must understand that becoming a member of the Union means accepting its rules and the modus operandi of its institutions.
It also means fulfilling all obligations towards Cyprus and the EU. It is therefore regrettable that Turkey refuses to implement the Additional Protocol, recognising and normalising its relations with the Republic of Cyprus and contributing, in concrete terms, to the solution of the Cyprus problem. Cyprus supports Ankara’s EU bid; nevertheless this positive approach is not unconditional and Turkey must meet all its obligations and act accordingly.
I once again reiterate my commitment to reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem that would guarantee a peaceful and prosperous future for all Cypriots as well as my readiness to continue the efforts during Cyprus’ Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The only way forward is to fulfill all the commitments that both sides have undertaken in the presence of the United Nations. It is necessary to proceed with the negotiations. I invite the Turkish Cypriot side to return to the table and continue the dialogue. To share our vision for a free and reunited Cyprus.
On 1 July 2012, Cyprus has for the first time since its accession to the EU, assumed the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Presidency is both a challenge and an opportunity and Cyprus is called to act as an honest broker. The European Union needs to emerge stronger from the current economic crisis. The Union needs to be closer to its citizens and communicate a message of hope and solidarity to them. With the enthusiasm of a newcomer, the Presidency has been working ‘towards a Better Europe’, seeking to promote social cohesion and growth, on the basis of the fundamental EU principle of solidarity, through more efficient policies. The Cyprus Presidency is also aiming for a Europe more relevant to its citizens, with emphasis on the younger generations. We are also working towards bringing Europe closer to its neighbours, so as to enhance its role in the international scene.
In welcoming you to Cyprus, I would kindly request that you convey to His Excellency President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao our warmest greetings and a message of sincere friendship and solidarity from the people of Cyprus.
In concluding, I would like to once again extend my heartfelt wishes and assure you of the support of my Government and myself personally to your important mission, so that your tenure will be both constructive and fruitful.
Ambassador Liu Xinsheng, I warmly welcome you to Cyprus”.
Present at the ceremony were the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Finance, Mr Vassos Shiarly, the Under Secretary to the President, Dr Titos Christofides, and the Chief of Protocol, Mr Nearchos Palas.