The Inauguration of the UAE Embassy in Cyprus Strengthens the Bilateral Cooperation

President Nicos Anastasiades expressed his appreciation to the Emirati Authorities for their principled stance on the Cyprus problem, as well as for the steadfast support they have provided Cyprus over the years and in particular for their supportive position within the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Cyprus News Agency reports.

In his address at the inauguration of the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, in the presence of the UAE Foreign Minister, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan, President Anastasiades said the Emirati Government’s action to open an Embassy in Nicosia is a milestone decision which, he is convinced, will play a decisive role in further strengthening our bilateral cooperation.
The opening of the Embassy, he noted, “signals a new chapter in our relations, one that will certainly facilitate the expansion of the cooperation and interaction between our Governments, our institutions and our societies.”

“In recent years, we have witnessed a considerable advance in our relations, which reflects our commitment to enhance relations with the Arab countries in general, and those of the Gulf in particular. This desire is also illustrated by the fact that, during these first three years of my term, I have paid official visits to most of the Gulf countries, including the United Arab Emirates. This visit to Nicosia today Your Highness, is further proof of the importance that your Government attaches to the development of our bilateral partnership”, he added.

It must also be said, he continued, that the same commitment is evident in all Gulf countries, and this is no coincidence. Cyprus, the closest, geographically and otherwise, EU member state to the Middle East and the Gulf, is a bridge to the EU and a privileged interlocutor, he noted.

Cyprus-Emirati cooperation, he stressed, grows steadily and extends in an array of fields, including tourism, economic exchanges and business cooperation. “Commercial and trade ties have also expanded. It is worth noting that the well-known Emirati Company DP World Ltd was awarded two concession agreements for Limassol port, following a transparent international tender. I trust that this is only the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship”, he said.

“We are also extremely pleased,” said the President, “that the United Arab Emirates citizens are able to travel to EU countries without a visa.” Cyprus was one of the first EU member states which advocated visa liberalization, and has been instrumental during all stages of the procedure, especially during its EU Presidency, in 2012. He assured that Cyprus will continue being a close friend and advocate of the UAE within the EU.

President Anastasiades said that recent developments in the region have dramatically underlined the need for closer cooperation between the two moderate countries. “They have also highlighted that we share similar views on pressing regional issues such as the fight against terrorism and extremism, as well as the need for security and stability. Yet, despite the grim outlook we endeavor for better days”, he added.

Cyprus and United Arab Emirates, both with a geopolitically recognized bridging role, he noted, must stand together as focal points of stability. “The complex challenges we are faced with and the range of asymmetric threats that plague our wider region and beyond require common effort and joint action,” he pointed out.
“I take this opportunity to commend the position that the United Arab Emirates have consistently maintained on the regional and the international scene, implementing a balanced and moderate foreign policy, based on dialogue, the respect of international law and the settlement of disputes by peaceful means”, he said.
Concluding, President Anastasiades wished every success to the first Emirati Ambassador in Cyprus for his efforts to promote our flourishing bilateral relations and express my conviction that the close cooperation between our two like-minded countries will produce concrete benefits in our common region and beyond.