Cyprus and Egypt Sign Series of Agreements and Memorandums to Enhance Bilateral Ties

Cyprus and Egypt signed on Friday, March 3, a series of agreements and memorandums that further enhance their bilateral ties, with the two sides stressing that they consider each other as strategic partners.

During a ceremony at the Ministry of Finance in Nicosia, Harris Georgiades, the Minister of Finance of Cyprus and Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation of Egypt, signed the Protocol of the 2nd Session of the Intergovernmental Commission and Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Labour, Cyprus News Agency reports.

The Egyptian Minister also signed an agreement with the Marios Demetriades, Cyprus Minister of Transport, on the protection and return of stolen or illicitly imported, exported or transferred cultural property and a Memorandum of Understanding for enhancing bilateral investment relations with Angelos Gregoriades, Deputy Chairman of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Egyptian Businessmen`s Association was also signed. Finance Minister Harris Georgiades spoke of “another important step in enhancing the political and economic ties” of the two countries.

“We consider our relationship with Egypt as one of strategic importance. We consider Egypt a valued partner and we remain committed to further expanding and enhancing our already excellent and closed ties and today we have made an important step in this direction” he noted in statements during the ceremony. This is just a starting point of forging stronger partnership we do consider Cyprus as a strategic partner and a key partner for development.

“Today’s Summit proved that our countries’ historic ties, as well as the friendship between our peoples, lead the bilateral cooperation and create the appropriate conditions for new steps in the Cyprus-Egypt cooperation Georgiades said, noting that “this close cooperation was supported through the strong political and personal relation of Presidents Anastasiades and Sisi, which led the relations of the two countries to the highest level”.

The Minister said that the Protocol of Cooperation records the great potentials of cooperation in the existing fields of energy, tourism, merchant shipping, transports, agriculture, fishery, commerce and education, as well as in the new fields of research, protection of antiquities and the environment and investments Minister Georgiades also noted the progress achieved in the field of hydrocarbons and the Agreement signed for the building of a pipeline to export natural gas to Egypt and from there to other countries. He also referred to the cooperation of the two countries in the fields of tourism, the efforts to increase air connectivity and the agreement on the protection of cultural heritage.

The Protocol signed today records the important effort made by the business world to enhance business activity in Cyprus and Egypt, said the Minister and added that “the two Governments strongly support the efforts of the private sector for investments both in Cyprus and Egypt”. As regards the Memorandum on labour issues, Minister Georgiades said that it aims at enhancing employment and ensuring safety and health at work in both countries.

“That`s just the beginning of a strong strategic partnership” said the Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, describing as “critical” the agreements that were signed. Nasr noted that the signing of the agreements is “an indication and confirmation of the political and economic commitment from the highest level in both countries, and hence as a team we are committed to move forward and to also forge more partnership”. She also stressed that the “umbrella – protocol” provides the framework for more partnerships between other Ministries.

The Egyptian Minister expressed appreciation over the Agreement on cultural heritage, and the Memorandums in the fields of labour and investment. Cyprus Minister of Transport, Marios Demetriades, stressed that the signing of the Agreement between Cyprus and Egypt on the protection and return of stolen or illicitly imported, exported or transferred cultural property will enhance the bilateral relations and the cooperation in the field of cultural property.

“Cyprus and Egypt, countries with rich archaeological culture, face similar issues, regarding illicit exportation and are very frequently requested to take actions for the return of stolen and illicit exported objects.

The Agreement will provide the framework for the exchange of information on legislation for the protection of cultural property, especially with regard to the prevention of theft, clandestine excavation and illicit import, export or transfer, as well as relevant policies and measures implemented by the competent authorities of the two countries”, Minister Demetriades stressed. With the implementation of the Agreement, the cooperation of the two countries will move a step forward enabling them to manage and protect in a much better way our cultural heritage, he said.