The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ioannis Kasoulides, met today, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the Minister of State for External Affairs of India, Dr Mobashar Jawed Akbar, in the framework of the visit of the Indian State Minister to Cyprus. Dr Akbar was also received by the President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, and the President of the House of Representatives, Mr Demetris Syllouris.
Minister Kasoulides and the Indian official discussed, inter alia, the bilateral relations and ways for their further strengthening, regional and international issues of common interest, while Mr Kasoulides had the opportunity to brief his interlocutor on the latest developments on the Cyprus problem.
In his statements to the Press after the meeting, Minister Kasoulides, upon warmly welcoming Dr Akbar to Cyprus, noted that, during the meeting, they had the opportunity to discuss issues of shared interest and ways to further strengthen the cooperation between the two countries, as well as the upcoming visit of President Anastasiades to India, in late April.
“For Cyprus, India is a trusted partner with whom our bonds of friendship have been forged through similar historical experiences in the 1950’s and beyond. As newly independent states, Cyprus and India worked together in the Non-Aligned Movement and this close partnership evolved through our memberships in different organizations, from the Commonwealth to the United Nations,” the Minister of Foreign Affairs highlighted.
He further said that “as we look into the future, we wish to expand this dynamic friendship into practical and tangible projects of cooperation in the fields of economy, tourism, renewable energy, technology and innovation, to name but a few.”
Minister Kasoulides characterized the signing of the Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation between the countries, last November, and the ensuing removal of Cyprus from the “Notified Jurisdictional Area” catalogue, an important landmark in our relations. “It is a sign of confidence between our authorities and a conduit for further economic cooperation, considering that Cyprus is the 8th biggest investor in India,” he underlined.
As regards the issues of regional and international interest, Minister Kasoulides said that India is a responsible and reliable global actor. The discussion focused on how the two countries can better work together in international fora, as well as on the prospects for a deeper cooperation between India and the European Union.
On the Cyprus problem, Cyprus Foreign Minister had the opportunity to update the Indian Minister of State on where we stand on the efforts to find a solution. “I would like to express our gratitude for India’s consistent and unwavering support to a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, as well as for India’s regular contributions to the UNFICYP,” he concluded.
On his part, Dr Akbar thanked Minister Kasoulides for the warm welcoming and referred to the constructive discussions he held both with the President of the Republic and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He also expressed the wish for his visit to contribute to the strengthening of the bilateral relations.
Referring to the bilateral relations of the two countries, the Indian State Minister characterized Cyprus as a truth friend of India, with which India shares common history and struggle against colonialism. “And more important, a shared commitment to the values, through which we have built our nations into modern, democratic and plural societies”, the Indian State Minister added. Dr Akbar further referred to the constructive meetings he held with both the President of the Republic and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He also conveyed the greetings of the Prime Minister and the President of India to the President of the Republic. “We, in India, are looking forward to making President Anastasiades’ visit into a landmark one”, he noted.
As regard the bilateral relations, the Indian Minister of State highlighted that they have always been very close and friendly. In this context, India has consistently and unwavering supported the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Cyprus and a peaceful resolution to the Cyprus problem.
On the issue of economy, Dr Akbar congratulated Cyprus for overcoming the economic crisis it experienced and for now being among the fastest-growing economies in the Eurozone. “If you look at the world around us, you will realize the importance of this achievement”, he stressed, pointing out that this development is a remarkable achievement of a remarkable leadership.
Referring to the upcoming visit of President Anastasiades to India, Dr Akbar said that the Government and people of India are looking forward to making it into a great landmark, which will further deepen the relations of the two countries, and for the mutual benefit of the people of the two countries.
Speaking about the fields of cooperation of the two countries, Dr Akbar made special reference to the perspectives of cooperation in the area of technology, in which great projects could be developed.
Also, the Minister of State referred to the outmost economic ties of Cyprus and India and the big amount of money received to India from Cyprus. Dr Akbar said that his country will seek cooperation in the fields of trade and investment, particularly in the scope of Cyprus’ participation in various programs of India. Moreover, the Minister of State of India pointed that cooperation will be sought in the areas of tourism, renewable energy, high technology and others. As regards the Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation signed last November, Dr Akbar said that it is expected to facilitate the investments.
Finally, Dr Akbar noted that he had the chance to discuss with his interlocutors various multilateral and regional issues, such as terrorism, in which Cyprus and India share similar views. They further examined the relations of the EU with India, and reviewed the ongoing dialogue. He also thanked Cyprus for its support to India’s efforts to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group./IBNA