India’s support to Cyprus unwavering, new High Commissioner assures President Anastasiades

India’s new High Commissioner to Cyprus Raghava Krishnaswami Raghavan has assured of his country’s unwavering support to Cyprus and expressed hope that a conducive environment will soon be created for the continuation of negotiations for a political settlement.

Speaking during the presentation of his credentials to Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, on Wednesday, at the Presidential Palace, he said I sincerely wish peace and prosperity for Cyprus, hoping that the occupation of the northern part of the country will soon come to an end, referring to the Turkish occupation of the island’s northern third, since Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974.

Raghavan expressed the hope that a conducive environment will soon be created for the continuation of negotiations under UN auspices, aiming at a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem, a solution which will benefit all Cypriots and respect democratic principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms. India has always supported the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of the Republic of Cyprus.

I take this opportunity to reiterate that India will continue its unwavering support to Cyprus, he stressed, adding that we are following with interest your personal initiatives towards the resolution of the Cyprus problem.

Referring to Indias participation in the UN Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus, UNFICYP, he said that “it is gratifying that four Indian Police Officers are currently stationed in the buffer zone, being monitored by the United Nations.”

According to the High Commissioner the strength of Indian community has gone up to nearly 7,000. These people are primarily engaged in shipping, software, banking, tourism, etc., and are contributing significantly to the Cyprus economy, he said, adding that the figure includes about 2,700 Indian nationals who are studying in Cyprus.

Referring to the business relations between the two countries he said, according to a Press and Information Office press release, that Cyprus is the eighth largest foreign direct investor in India. The FDI inflows from Cyprus to India amounted to US$ 9.2 bn, he noted, adding that bilateral trade has also increased in recent years, while a lot is also happening on the cultural front.

On his part President Anastasiades conveyed in the clearest terms that we remain strongly committed to negotiate a solution within the parameters that the Secretary-General set, for a viable and comprehensive settlement, fully in line international and EU law, that reunites Cyprus in a modern, truly independent and sovereign state, free of any third country dependencies that will offer the prospect of prosperity and peaceful co-existence for all its citizens.

He briefed the Indian High Commissioner on developments as regards the outcome of the Conference on Cyprus, in the Swiss resort Crans-Montana last summer and expressed the hope that Turkey will revisit its intransigent positions, particularly, in the areas of security and guarantees, and as regards demands that are not in line with Cyprus’ capacity as a member state of the EU, so as to create sound prospects of achieving an overall agreement.

He reiterated our deep appreciation for the strong support of the Government of India to our continuous efforts to reach a just, viable and comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, in line with the relevant UN Council Resolutions, the EU law, values and principles, and the High-Level Agreements between the leaders of the two communities and the Joint Declaration of 11 February 2014.

Referring to his official visit to India last April, President Anastasiades noted that it paved the way for further deepening our bilateral relations.

The productive and results-oriented discussions I had with the Prime Minister and the President of India, as well as the signing of bilateral agreements in the important areas of Merchant Shipping, Aviation, Agriculture, as well as Cultural, Educational and Scientific Cooperation constitute important steps in the further tangible enhancement of Cyprus � India ties to the mutual benefit of our two countries and peoples, he added.

I truly look forward to welcoming President Kovind to Cyprus in the near future, so as to continue our discussions and build on the progress achieved following my official visit, President Anastasiades said.

Source: Cyprus News Agency