articles | 25 July 2013

Cyprus and Qatar express desire to develop bilateral relations

Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, has expressed the wish that Cyprus and his state will develop bilateral relations in all fields.

The wish was conveyed by the new Ambassador of the State of Qatar, Hussein Bin Ahmad Mohammad Ibrahim Al-Hmeid, who presented on Thursday his credentials to President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades. President Anastasiades, referring to the Cyprus problem, said the Government is ready to examine innovative ways to carry the process forward to ultimately achieve the reunification of the island. Al-Hmeid said he is proud to represent Qatar as Ambassador to Cyprus, a friendly country, and wished “our bilateral relations more prosperity and progress especially in the political, economic and tourism fields”. He also conveyed the greetings of Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, “who also asked me to express to Your Excellency his best wishes for the development of bilateral relations between our two countries in all fields.”

Replying, President Anastasiades said Cyprus and Qatar share many similar traits, such as the hospitality and welcoming character of the people, a rich historical and cultural heritage but also a turbulent history due to their respective geostrategic locations. “Our countries share a parallel past and yet a common future”, he remarked. Over the last few years, he said, “relations between our two countries, especially after the opening of resident embassies in Nicosia and Doha respectively, have increased exponentially and have acquired a multifaceted nature”. During the past four years, a number of high level visits have taken place and important bilateral agreements have been signed, such as the Agreement for the Abolition of Visa Requirements for Holders of Diplomatic and Service Passports, the Agreement on Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments, the Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Political Consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, and the Air Services Agreement. "Our aim," he noted, "is to effectively implement these agreements and widen bilateral ventures in further areas, such as commerce, culture, education and health services." 

Another indicator of the excellent level of bilateral relations is the good record of reciprocal support in candidatures and the close collaboration in international fora. President Anastasiades remarked that the Republic of Cyprus, being the nearest European Union member to the region, has been continuously working towards the enhancement of EU relations with both the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council. Proof of these efforts is the fact that, since 2009, Cyprus has been proposing the inclusion of Qatar in the ‘positive list’ of EU Regulation 539/2001, for third countries whose nationals are exempted from visa requirements, thus achieving visa-free travel to the EU for all holders of regular Qatari passports.

Stressing the “excellent bilateral relations” between the two countries, he assured that Cyprus will spare no effort for the further promotion of Qatar’s relations with the European Union. As regards the Cyprus question, President Anastasiades said the relaunching of the negotiations under the aegis of the Secretary General of the United Nations in the framework of his Good Offices Mission, which aims at a fair, viable and mutually acceptable settlement based on the relevant Security Council Resolutions and the principles and values upon which the European Union is founded, "remains our first priority." The settlement must serve, above all, he noted, “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 chosen procedure will bear fruit. We are ready to examine innovative ways to carry the process forward to ultimately achieve the reunification of our country,” he said.

The recent appointment by the Government of Cyprus of a negotiator of the Greek Cypriot community illustrates this approach towards carefully preparing the ground for result-oriented negotiations and highlights efforts to reach at last a settlement, the reunification of the country and a common European future for all citizens, the President added.

Source: Financial Mirror

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