The President of the Republic receives the credentials of the High Commissioner of the Republic of Rwanda

The President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, received today, at a formal ceremony at the Presidential Palace, the credentials of the High Commissioner of the Republic of Rwanda to the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Joseph Rutabana, stationed in Tel Aviv.

Presenting his credentials, High Commissioner Rutabana said:

Your Excellency, the President of the Republic of Cyprus,

It is a great honour for me to present to Your Excellency, Letters of Credence, through which the President of the Republic of Rwanda, His Excellency Paul Kagame, accredited me as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to your Excellency. I also take this opportunity to hand to Your Excellency letters of recall of my predecessor.

Excellency,

Cyprus and Rwanda have had diplomatic relations, which have always been the link between our people through different types of exchanges.

Rwanda, as an active member of the United Nations, has been following closely developments regarding the Cyprus situation, including recent talks in Mont PAlerin. The Republic of Rwanda is confident that Cypriots will reach a durable solution to settle the longstanding problem.

The Government of Rwanda reiterates its willingness to reinforce diplomatic relations with Cyprus so that more tangible and mutual developmental projects can be achieved.

In reference to the above, my Government would like to propose few sectors, on which our two countries can base a strong partnership: Tertiary Education, Agriculture, Energy, Tourism, Mining, Infrastructure development, ICT and Healthcare.

Our two countries can equally develop a partnership based on the Private Sector, since the latter constitutes a strong line leading to sustainable development.

I take this opportunity to present sincere gratitude to the Government of Cyprus for Scholarships offered to Rwandan students in different Cypriot Institutions of Higher Learning. We have no doubt whatsoever that the knowledge that those students will acquire, will contribute to the socio-economic development of our country.

Excellency,

Allow me to remind Your Excellency that my country is beneficiary of the European Development Fund, which is institutionalized by the European Union, of which Cyprus is a member. It is in that context that we seek your support in backing the Government of Rwanda’s programs within this global and important forum.

Excellency,

I will conclude my speech by transmitting to Your Excellency, warm and cordial greetings from His Excellency Paul Kagame, the President of the Republic of Rwanda. He also conveyed to Your Excellency, through me, best wishes of happiness and prosperity for the New Year 2017.

I thank Your Excellency, for the warm welcome accorded to me and my delegation since our arrival here in your beautiful country.

Receiving the credentials, the President of the Republic said:

Your Excellency,

It is with distinct pleasure that I receive today your Letters of Credence, appointing you as the new High Commissioner of the Republic of Rwanda to the Republic of Cyprus, as well as the Letters of Recall of your predecessor. I would like to wish you every success in your mission and to assure you that my Government will provide you with every possible assistance.

Cyprus and Rwanda share friendly bilateral relations and enjoy active working cooperation in many international fora, such as the United Nations and the Commonwealth. At the same time, my Government express its readiness for working towards the strengthening of our bilateral relations, as well as to explore new areas of cooperation.

Furthermore, as an EU member state, Cyprus is committed to the enhancement of the political dialogue and cooperation between the EU and Rwanda, as part of a broader EU � Africa partnership, agreed at the 4th EU-Africa Summit in 2014, for effectively dealing today’s common challenges in the fields of security, governance and political stability and economic development.

Excellency,

Almost four years ago, just after my election as President of the Republic of Cyprus, this country was faced with nothing less than economic collapse. Today, Cyprus can be justifiably projected as a success story of economic reform. With the determination of my Government, the resilience of key productive sectors of the economy and the sacrifice and hard work of the Cypriot people, we have achieved:

? to address fiscal imbalances, through growth-friendly consolidation,

? to have a restructured and fully recapitalized banking sector, mainly through big international investors,

? to undertake and implement radical structural reforms,

? to return to the international markets much earlier than any other programme country, and

? to restore our credibility and regain confidence in the Cypriot economy.

Our ambitious reform agenda, aspires to lay the foundations for long-term sustainable growth, improving the business environment, which will increasingly attract foreign direct investments in the productive sectors of the economy. Towards this direction, there is a continuing process to modernise and reform the current tax and legal framework, while the effort to reform the public service and modernize our legislation continues, with additional measures underway, such as accelerated licensing procedures, updated permanent residency and citizenship programmes, the introduction of e-government and sector-related incentive schemes. Our reform agenda is aiming to eventually transform our economic model, to enhance our competitive edge and to attract foreign direct investments, in order to achieve sustained growth and prosperity for all Cypriots.

Your Excellency,

As regards the ongoing negotiating process to reach a comprehensive settlement on the Cyprus problem, for the last 18 months a new effort has begun which has provided, I have to admit, positive results. Progress has been achieved in the Chapters of Governance and Power-Sharing, Economy, EU and to a lesser extent the Chapter of Property.

I need to underline, however, that despite the remarkable progress achieved, differences remain on a number of issues relating to the Chapters I have mentioned.

Nevertheless, and in order to address another fundamental Chapter, that of the territorial adjustments �the outcome of which will significantly contribute towards reaching an agreement on the outstanding issues of the Property Chapter-, on October 26 it was decided to commence a new phase of intensive negotiations at Mont Pelerin, in Switzerland, focusing on this particular Chapter.

During the two rounds of discussions that followed, despite the progress that had been achieved in one of the three main criteria, which should govern territorial adjustments, we did not reach an agreement on the other two criteria. This prevented the submission of maps and consequently the negotiating process came to a deadlock.

On 1 December, and in order to safeguard the momentum of the negotiations and to prevent an overall halt of the process with unpredictable consequences, we agreed to resume and intensify the dialogue in Cyprus from the point it was left-off at Mont PAlerin.

This will lead to a three-day meeting to be held in Geneva between 9-11 of January 2017, with the aim of achieving further convergences on the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem.

On 11 January maps will be submitted on territorial adjustments. Progress on the above issues will allow us to come within reach of an agreement by creating the conditions and prospects for a successful conclusion of the multilateral Conference on Cyprus on 12th of January, which will discuss issues that relate to the international aspects of the Cyprus problem, and in particular on the Chapter of Security and Guarantees and ways and means to ensure the smooth implementation of the settlement.

At this critical juncture, I wish to reassure of my determination to reach a successful outcome at the negotiations in Geneva, so as to achieve a settlement that will reunify our country and fulfill the vision of the people of Cyprus of building an attractive future for our youth and the generations to come, setting an example for peace-making and enhancing security and stability in our region.

A settlement based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as set out in the relevant Security Council Resolutions, the High Level Agreements and the Joint Declaration of February 2014, with a single international legal personality, a single sovereignty and a single citizenship.

A settlement that will:

? Reunite our country, its people, the economy and institutions;

? Create a win-win situation for all Cypriots, taking into account the sensitivities and concerns of both communities;

? Ensure a modern member-state of the EU and UN, enjoying full sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity;

? Restore and fully respect the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all its lawful citizens;

? Rid Cyprus of third country military troops or guarantees, an anachronism in today’s World.

To this end, Turkey’s contribution in tangible terms in these negotiations is vital. There is no solution that can be reached without Turkey’s input. We do therefore expect Turkey, which is responsible for the illegal stationing of more than 40.000 occupation troops in Cyprus, to take practical and concrete steps towards this direction, particularly during the upcoming Conference of Cyprus, taking into account not only the benefit of the people of Cyprus, but also the positive impact a settlement will have to regional stability and cooperation.

Mr High Commissioner,

I conclude by assuring you once more of the support of my Government to your valuable mission, so that your tenure will be highly constructive and productive. In welcoming you to Cyprus, I would kindly request that you convey to H.E. Paul Kagame and to the friendly people of the Republic of Rwanda my warmest greetings and a message of sincere friendship and solidarity.

Present at the ceremony were the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Christoforos Fokaides, the Chief of Protocol, Mr Marios Kountourides, and the Head of Presidency at the Presidential Palace, Mr Kypros Kyprianou.

Source: Press and Information Office