The President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, received today, at a formal ceremony at the Presidential Palace, the credentials of the new Ambassador of the Republic of Panama, stationed in Athens, Mr Aymard H. Jimenez Granda.
Presenting his credentials Mr Granda said: “It is an honour to present my Credential Letters to H. E. the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, and on behalf of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Panama, Mr Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, I would like to convey his greetings and wish of continued strengthening of the bonds of friendship that have traditionally existed between our two Governments and peoples.
Our countries share many things in common. As geographic crossroads, both countries are small nations with strategic positions, a fact that has constituted an asset and vulnerability through the years. The history of both our countries has always been linked to the presence of water which surrounds them and constitutes an important economic force in commerce and transportation. The people of our countries are defined by their rich multi-ethnic background and their warm, hospitable nature and, last but not least, both our economies are based on the services we provide.
The President and the Government of Panama supports the efforts made by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus for a solution towards the reunification of the country.
During these difficult economic times the Government of Cyprus is facing, the Government of Panama would like to express their admiration for the resilience of their people towards the negative expectations and wishes to transmit all our support and wishes of success for the future.
We look forward to continuing the friendly diplomatic relations between our two nations and to further strengthening those bonds in other areas in ways that will bring our nations and our people closer”.
Replying, President Anastasiades said: “It is with distinct pleasure and with feelings of genuine friendship that I receive today your Letters of Credence appointing you as the new Ambassador of the Republic of Panama to the Republic of Cyprus and also the Letters of Recall of your predecessor. Ι would like to assure you that my Government will provide you with every possible assistance in the performance of your duties.
You arrive in Cyprus at a difficult time in its history. Despite the current economic hardships facing the people of Cyprus, we are determined to work hard to address the painful consequences of the restructuring of the economy. A series of measures have been adopted in order to kick-start the economy. More will follow. We shall be concentrating on developing various sectors of the economy, with a particular focus on shipping, tourism, infrastructure and energy.
The discovery of natural gas reserves in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone creates new vistas of co-operation between Cypriot and foreign businesses, including Panamanian ones. The creation of a network of natural gas transportation projects in the Eastern Mediterranean will strengthen regional energy security and cooperation. It will also attract foreign investments, thus giving a substantial boost not only to Cyprus, but to the countries in the entire region.
A crisis is also a chance to develop and grow stronger. I am confident that with diligent work and commitment we will be able to succeed in our efforts to achieve growth and prosperity. To this end, we are looking forward to having Panama as one of our close partners through enhanced cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
The relaunching of the negotiations under the aegis of the Secretary General of the United Nations in the framework of his Good Offices Mission, aiming at a fair, viable and mutually acceptable settlement to the Cyprus question based on the relevant Security Council Resolutions and the principles upon which the EU operates, remains our first priority.
The settlement must serve, above all, the legitimate interests and be for the benefit of the Cypriot people as a whole and not for any third country. The negotiations must be properly and thoroughly prepared in order to ensure that the aforementioned objectives are jointly and unequivocally shared and that the negotiations will bear fruit. We cannot afford another failure. It is my firm conviction that the substantive involvement of the European Union in this procedure is desirable.
Our two countries have over the years developed cordial and friendly relations, based on common principles and values. Our bilateral and multilateral cooperation provides us with a solid foundation on which we can further expand our relations. I personally look forward to working with you towards achieving this objective. The conclusion of a bilateral Merchant Shipping Agreement would thus be of prime importance to further strengthen and deepen our trade relations. We also look forward to the conclusion of a Double Taxation Agreement in the course of this year, as well as to signing a Memorandum of Understanding on Establishing Political Consultations between the Foreign Ministries of our two countries.
In welcoming you to Cyprus and in wishing every success, I would kindly request you to convey to the President of Panama, His Excellency Mr Ricardo Martinelli, and to the friendly people of your country our warmest greetings and a message of sincere amity and solidarity”.
Present at the ceremony were the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ioannis Kasoulides, the Under Secretary to the President, Mr Constantinos Petrides, and the Chief of Protocol, Mr Nearchos Palas.