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Cyprus regains its credibility

17 January, 2014

Cyprus is regaining its credibility and as a credible country it has a very important geostrategic and political role to play in the Eastern Mediterranean, Government spokesman Christos Stylianides said today from London.

Speaking to reporters on the conclusion of President Nicos Anastasiades’s four-day visit to the British capital, he said that a comprehensive assessment of the visit will be given by the President in Cyprus. However, he remarked, there are three important point to be stressed.
“The first one is the historical agreement with which for the first time in all these years of the Cyprus Republic, Cypriot citizens that own property within the British bases areas obtain the same rights as the rest of the citizens over their properties. This is essentially the rectification of an injustice,” the Government Spokesman noted. As he said further, this was one of the President’s electoral pledges, a personal commitment, as he was aware of the situation since his days as a Limassol parliament representative.

Stylianides emphasized the fact that the almost 200 square kilometres of land covered by the agreement make up between 4% and 5% of all the Cypriot territory. He described the deal with the UK government as significant in terms of growth as well, within the planning and development zones of the Republic of Cyprus, as he stressed. He rejected objections about “Gibraltarising” the areas concerned. “This is a pusillanimous reaction towards an event that should be treated by all of us as positive,” said the Government Spokesman, adding that it also settles part of traumatic relations and experiences between the two countries.
Another important outcome of the visit, said the Spokesman, has been the joint communique after the President’s meeting with Prime Minister Cameron at Downing Street. “First we appraise the issue of the famous ‘three singles’. Given the dispute on behalf of Mr Eroglu of the sovereignty issues, the fact that a guarantor power, a permanent member of the Security Council and an important country within the EU and internationally accepts in a joint communique that the Republic of Cyprus through the negotiating process should as a federal Cyprus Republic have a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single international personality is very significant, both for the outcome of the negotiations and for the clear demand by the President that it is included in the common declaration, which should be the basis for resuming the dialogue over the Cyprus issue,” explained Stylianides.

The third point that the Government Spokesman made was that the parallel meetings, which the ministers who were accompanying President Anastasiades had, have led to the deepening of the relations between Cyprus and the UK. “They prove that Cyprus is regaining its credibility as a country and at the same time it can be hopeful that the business community in London will be very helpful, so Cyprus can again set a foothold as a financial and shipping centre, but also develop the cooperation on energy,” said the Spokesman.
Referring to his own parallel meetings, Christos Stylianides said that they involved the communication team at 10 Downing Street.” Yesterday afternoon, I had a meeting of long duration with the communication team and there we discussed mainly the issue of the image of Cyprus in the United Kingdom, but also more broadly in the international media, especially after the injury that it suffered after we had the known decisions by the two Eurogroup meetings.

“I noted a very positive climate about the developments since the two Eurogroup meetings - Cyprus is regaining its credibility and as a trustworthy country it has a very important geostrategic and political role to play in the eastern Mediterranean as a result of the great geopolitical developments and upsets in the Middle East, but at the same time, and this is very encouraging, it is regaining its credibility once again as a financial centre,” he said.
Stylianides spoke of very positive comments by this communication team, which consists mainly of Mr. Cameron’s political advisors and high officials of the British Civil Service, with regard to the image that Cyprus projects today.

He added that the experience of seeing how the “impressive” communications structure of the UK government works could benefit the Cypriot government, within its capabilities.