The President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades, met today in Riyadh with the King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, in the framework of his official visit to the country, which is also the first official visit paid by a President of the Republic of Cyprus to Saudi Arabia.
President Anastasiades was officially welcomed by the King of Saudi Arabia at a special ceremony, during which a military contingent presented honours. The National Anthems of the two countries were performed and, then, the President of the Republic and the King attended an official lunch hosted by the King in honour of President Anastasiades.
Expanded talks between the delegations of the two countries followed, after which bilateral agreements were signed.
Specifically, a Convention for the avoidance of double taxation with respect to taxes on income and for the prevention of tax evasion between the Republic of Cyprus and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was signed. The Convention was signed on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Ioannis Kasoulides, and on behalf of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by Minister of Finance oF Saudi Arabia, Mohammad Abdullah Al-Jadaan.
The Convention will contribute to further develop the economic relationship and to enhance the co-operation in tax matters between the two States and is is based on the OECD Model Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation on Income and on Capital and it includes the exchange of financial and other information in accordance with the relevant Article of the Model Convention.
Upgrading and expanding the network of Double Taxation Conventions is of high economic and political importance and aims to further strengthen Cyprus as an international business center.
Also signed was an Executive Programme in the Civil Aviation field. The Programme was signed by the Minister of Transport of Cyprus, Marios Demetriades, and the Minister of Transport and President of the General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia.
Finally, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with regard to political consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries. The Memorandum was signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ioannis Kasoulides, on behalf of Cyprus, and by the Deputy Foreign Minister, on behalf of Saudi Arabia.
Government Spokesman on the official visit of the President of the Republic to Saudi Arabia
The historic visit of the President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades, to Saudi Arabia fulfills one of the main objectives of Cyprus’s foreign policy to strengthen its relations with the Gulf countries, said Government Spokesman, Nicos Christodoulides, who accompanies the President of the Republic during his official visit to the country.
In his statements to journalists in Riyadh, the spokesman said that “as was said at the meeting of the President of the Republic with the King of Saudi Arabia, this is a historic visit, the first visit by the President of the Republic of Cyprus since the establishment of the Republic in 1960.
A visit that fulfills a goal of our foreign policy that following the opening of a diplomatic mission to Riyadh and an accredited Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Cyprus, our relations are now entering a new level and one of the main pillars of our foreign policy, to strengthen our relations with the Gulf countries as well”.
The spokesman described as important the Agreements signed today between the two countries, noting that the agreement on political consultations between the Foreign Ministries provides for consultations twice a year to discuss issues of common interest.
He added that “there is interest in Saudi Arabia on energy issues and this visit is the beginning of a new period in our relations with Saudi Arabia, which we hope soon to open a diplomatic mission to the Republic of Cyprus as it did in the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus 1960”.
The first issue that was discussed, according to Christodoulides was bilateral relations and the political desire to strengthen these relations, “because over the years there have in fact not been taken the steps that could have, so there is room for policy strengthening our relationships”.
In this framework he continued, “energy issues, as well as aviation issues, were also discussed, where a new agreement is expected to be signed soon”.
“We have also discussed security issues, fighting terrorism, regional relations, how the developments in our region are evolving, affecting the Republic of Cyprus and Saudi Arabia, and of course the relations between Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries in general – since there was also a meeting with the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council – as well as the need to strengthen the EU’s relations with the countries of the region, for which the Republic of Cyprus can and has the will to play a major role”./IBNA