Kuwait to the rescue?
Wants to contribute to recovery of economy
President Nicos Anastasiades said that his visit to Kuwait had so far proved “absolutely successful”, noting that Kuwait intends to contribute to Cyprus efforts for the recovery of the economy.
In statements to the press, after an official lunch hosted by Crown Prince Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Anastasiades said that his meetings during the first day of his official visit with the Prime Minister and the Prince were absolutely successful.
He noted that “we were given the opportunity to outline the potential which Cyprus offers and to redefine the friendly relations between the two countries. At the same time the Ministers who accompany me had the opportunity to sign certain agreements.”
He expressed hope that the meetings with important investment funds will bear fruit “in the ongoing efforts to create conditions that will encourage investment.”
Cooperation in the field of energy and investment was discussed during separate meetings held between Minister of Finance Harris Georgiades and Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Giorgos Lakkotrypis and their host counterparts.
In statements after a meeting with the Minister of Oil, Lakkotrypis said they exchanged views on Cyprus’ plans to exploit its hydrocarbon reserves in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
He expressed hope that a delegation of government officials from Kuwait could soon visit Cyprus to discuss investments, “especially in the private sector, in major projects which need funding, such as marinas, golf, medical tourism and renewable energy sources”, as well as a potential oil and energy hub.
Lakkotrypis also held a meeting with the Minister of Commerce, during which he raised the issue of air links between the two countries, which could increase tourism and would even boost food exports.
President Anastiades also raised the issue of cooperation in investment and trade with officials of the Kuwait Financial House, a banking institution engaged in commercial activities and investment funds.
A number of bilateral agreements were signed by the accompanied Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, Finance Minister Haris Georgiades and Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis.
Meanwnile, the government of Kuwait has pledged a donation of 200,000 euros to the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) in Cyprus announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.
“What is touching is the announcement by my counterpart to donate to the CMP 200,000 euro,” Kasoulides told the press.
Kuwait and Cyprus, the Minister noted, “have been both the victims of an invasion – and we unfortunately continue to be victims of Turkey’s continuing occupation – we both have missing persons and we look into their fate.”
“A country which feels the same pain as we do is particularly sensitive and is now providing assistance,” he added.
The primary objective of the CMP is to enable relatives of the 1619 missing persons to recover the remains of their loved ones, arrange for a proper burial and close a long period of anguish and uncertainty.
A further 41 more cases of Greek Cypriot missing persons have been recently added. These cases concern the period between 1963-1964, when inter-communal fighting broke out but none of them had been identified. The number of Turkish Cypriot missing since 1974 and 1963/64 stands at 503. Since 2006 a total of 747 burial sites were visited and opened.
According to CMP data the remains of 23 missing persons were identified in 2012, 51 in 2011, 67 in 2010, 86 in 2009, 54 in 2008 and 56 in 2007.
Kasoulides noted that this was his third meeting with his Kuwaiti counterpart within three months and that their last one was in New York.
He said that they have had a very productive dialogue, underlining that “Cyprus as an EU member state and Kuwait as a member of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf can cooperate and serve as gates to these two organizations.”
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