Speech by the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the commemorative event in honor of late Ambassador Petros Eftychiou

It is a real honor to welcome you all here, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, in order to pay homage and respect to a man whose career and influence were pivotal to the very development and progress of Cyprus’ diplomatic service.

This humble ceremony reflects the simplicity and humility of Petros Eftychiou, who never enjoyed festivities of personal admiration, and who preferred to quietly serve, both state and society, without wanting, or expecting a fraction of his duties in return.

I consider today’s event as our opportunity to collectively remember a distinguished colleague, a friend, a family member, whose abundance of qualities and overwhelming eagerness to serve, have been unparalleled.

Let me just in a nutshell go through Petros’ academic and professional career. Having completed his studies at the American University of Beirut, one of the leading academic institutions in the region and beyond, he joined the diplomatic service, serving in a myriad of posts, namely, Damascus, Tel Aviv, Brussels, Geneva, New York, Canberra, London, Cairo and Amman. Indeed, such was his passion for the field, that following his retirement, and having served as Permanent Secretary, he moved to Tel Aviv, where he completed his studies at the Tel Aviv University in the field of Security and Diplomacy, thus fulfilling yet another lifelong dream.

Needless to say, Petros’ life journey testifies his ties with the wider region of the Middle East and his understanding that Cyprus has a key role to play in the area, being itself an integral part of its political history. The presence of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jordan, a sincere friend of Petros, is testament to Petros’ deep personal bonds with the region.

Petros was known as an excellent diplomat and as an exceptional negotiator, who was profoundly dedicated to the promotion of the interests of Cyprus abroad. His impeccable professional skills proved catalytic at securing the interests of Cyprus in the international arena, and at times, his skills were crucial at breaking deadlocks.

At the same time, Petros was the embodiment of the word ‘gentleman’, a personification of grace and goodness. A man renowned for his excellent sense of humour, a good listener, a lifelong learner, a compassionate father, husband, friend and colleague, an honest, trustworthy man ready to do his utmost to support the rest.

It is this exceptional blend of professional and personal qualities that rendered Petros unique. It is this mix of professional competence, kindness and social skills that let each and every one of us admire him and indeed remember him with heartfelt gratitude for all those moments of relief, laughter, and support.

Needless to say, that the state owes to thank and remember Petros for all those personal sacrifices and diplomatic battles that allowed our country to escape dead ends, and progress into the future.

Let us therefore pay our respect to a dear friend who has profoundly inspired each and every one of us, reflect back at his numerous professional accomplishments and his positive impact. Let us indeed look back at the legacy of Petros Eftychiou and see what we can learn from his example.

Allow me to address at this point, the wife of late Ambassador Eftychiou. The role of Ms. Anna-Maria Rosina in Petros’ life has always been central. She proved to repeatedly be of added-value and complementary to the qualities of Petros himself, while her focus on their family was catalytic in sustaining a healthy family life. Anna-Maria Rosina, as well as Petros’ two stars and source of happiness, his daughters Joanna and Graciela, have always been considered as members of the family of this Ministry, and l assure them that this will remain as such.

In concluding, let me express my sincere appreciation to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jordan, Mr Judeh Nasser, as well as to the Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, Dr Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, for being here with us. Credit also goes to the management and staff of both UCLAN and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, without the precious help of which, today’s event would not have been possible.

Source: Press and Information Office