NICOSIA - President Christofias said Thursday that the signing of eight Agreements in the areas of Taxation, Maritime Merchant Shipping, Aviation, Health, Agriculture, Investment and Sport between Cyprus and the Ukraine, as a follow-up to the five agreements on the Economy, Defence and Transport already signed, is tangible proof of the burgeoning ties between the two countries.
Speaking during the toast on the occasion of the state dinner in honor of the President of the Ukraine, Victor Yanukovych, who pays an official visit to the island, President Christofias expressed his satisfaction, particularly for the conclusion of the negotiations and the signing of the Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation, which, as he noted, implements the political commitment they assumed together with President Yanukovych, last year in Kiev.
“I am confident that the institutional framework we create will be adequately utilized for the benefit of our countries” he added, indicating that some of the initiatives undertaken in the past year, such as the opening of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation Office in Kiev and the Honorary Consulate in Odessa, as well as the implementation of the Pro-Visa for Ukrainians since last September, have already borne their positive results, with increased numbers of Ukrainian citizens visiting Cyprus. “It is expected that the anticipated introduction of further direct flights and extra routes will increase numbers even further” he added.
The President pointed out that during today’s constructive talks, the two leaders had the opportunity to discuss the main aspects of the excellent cooperation between Cyprus and Ukraine, both at the bilateral and the multilateral level, as well as setting future goals, expressing at the same time, satisfaction for the intense cooperation in recent years in all areas, especially in the economy. “Indicative of this” he said, “is that Cyprus ranks first in the list of third countries investing in Ukraine, while it is the topmost destination attracting Ukraine’s foreign investments”.
President Christofias thanked Victor Yanukovych and conveyed the gratitude of the Government and the people of Cyprus for Ukraine’s longstanding support of our efforts to solve the Cyprus problem.
“The unwavering support and assistance of friendly countries like Ukraine strengthens our efforts to free Cyprus from occupation” he noted and assured that Cyprus remains fully committed and will persevere to reach a viable and functional solution that will reunify the island.
“We remain committed to a bizonal, bicommunal federation with a single and indivisible sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single international personality, with political equality as defined in the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council” he said.
President Christofias also stressed that Cyprus remains committed and will continue to work towards enhancing relations between the European Union and Ukraine, for mutual benefit and in close cooperation with the European External Action Service and the Commission which are the institutions responsible for the relations between the EU and Ukraine under the Lisbon Treaty.
“We are convinced that Ukraine will exert every effort to achieve this goal, implementing the necessary reforms and fulfilling commitments. It is crucial that Europeans are persuaded that Ukraine promotes democratic reforms, respects and safeguards human rights and democratic freedoms” he added, expressing in this satisfaction for the fact that the Amended Agreement on Visa Facilitation was signed last July during Cyprus’ Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
He also assured the Ukrainian President that the Republic of Cyprus strongly supports the goals Ukraine has set for the forthcoming Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 2013, noting that Cyprus had expressly supported this effort from the very start and we are confident of its success.
Concluding his toast, President Christofias said that relations between Cyprus and the Ukraine are also reflected in society and are founded on the enduring historical, cultural and religious ties between the two countries and expressed satisfaction for the fact that the Ukrainian community that lives and works in Cyprus is a vibrant and creative part of the Cypriot society, acting as a link between the two countries and a means to develop the cooperation and understanding between the two peoples.