India and Cyprus in April 2017 signed four agreements to boost the bilateral relationship between the two countries. The signed agreements include agreement on shipping and air services.
These agreements/MoUs were inked during the state visit of President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades to India from 25 to 29 April 2017. He was on a visit to India on the invitation by President Pranab Mukherjee.
During this visit, President Anastasiades was accompanied by a high level delegation comprising of several ministers and senior officials including Minister of Finance Haris Georgiades and Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Georgios Lakkotrypis.
The signed MoUs/Agreements include
• Executive Programme on Culture Education and Scientific Cooperation (EPCEC) for the year 2017-2020
• Work Plan under programme of Cooperation in the field of Agriculture for 2017- 18
• Merchant Shipping Agreement
• Air Services Agreement
In addition to the four-agreements, the two nations also released a Joint Statement titled India-Cyprus Joint Statement.
Highlights of the joint statement
• The statement peeps into the historic relationship between India and Cyprus that goes back to years before Cyprus got its independence. They recalled the ideological commonalities and mutual respect between the founding fathers of the two nations, Mahatma Gandhi and Archbishop Makarios. They also underlined their mutual commitment to further strengthen and diversify this relationship.
• Cooperative partnership between India and Cyprus: looking back into the partnership between the two nations, the two leaders agreed that such cooperation would help in addressing concerns related to global energy security, environmental protection and sustainable and equitable development.
• Investment promotion for shared prosperity: Expressing satisfaction on the signing of revised India-Cyprus Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement in November 2016, the two sides agreed to enhance the current levels of bilateral trade between the two nations. PM Modi suggested that the revision of the Agreement could be utilized to increase investments between the two countries, especially in Indian flagship programmes like Make in India and various Cyprus investment projects.
• Trade & Economics: Looking back towards the fruitful implementation of the existing bilateral agreements due to the existing inter-governmental and other bilateral mechanisms, the two sides decided to make further use of the Joint Economic Committee as a mechanism that proposes recommendations to the two governments on ways and means to expand mutually beneficial cooperation in all areas of common interest. Areas highlighted for cooperation includes Information Technology, ITES, Biotechnology, and R&D among others.
• India-European Union (EU) Relations: The two sides also had a discussion on India-EU relations. Being a member state of EU, Cyprus reiterated its support for the strengthening of the India-EU Strategic Partnership based on shared values and principles and in line with the priorities set out in the India-EU Agenda for Action 2020. During the discussion on the subject, the two leaders, namely Modi and Anastasiade, had a discussion on major global issues like promotion of sustainable development, combating international terrorism and dealing with climate change.
Besides, the India-Cyprus joint statement also mentions issues like India’s membership in promotion of sustainable development (NSG), International Terrorism in light of adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2347(2017) that aims at combating the unlawful destruction of cultural heritage, religious sites and artefacts, and the smuggling of cultural property by terrorist groups during armed conflict. It also talks about reform of the United Nations Security Council, regional issues