Jordan is factor of stability in Mideast, says Cypriot envoy

[29-09-2021 11:56 AM]

Ammon News - Jordan is a factor of stability in the Middle East, Cypriot ambassador to Amman Michalis Ioannou, confirmed, noting that the further improvement of bilateral relations and cooperation with the Kingdom is among his country's priorities.

In a wide ranging interview with the Jordan News Agency (Petra) Wednesday on the occasion of Cyprus’s Independence day, the ambassador stressed that the excellent interpersonal relations between the political leadership of the two countries offers the necessary framework and guidance for the further improvement of the bilateral relations between Cyprus and Jordan, in areas in which there is room for further improvement, such as trade, investments, tourism, education.

He stressed that President Anasatasiades looks forward to welcoming His Majesty King Abdullah to Cyprus in the coming months.

"Jordan is among the top recipient countries of Cyprus’ development assistance, both at a bilateral and multilateral level, through which we mainly support projects on the empowerment of women, as well as on children’s rights, including their right to education, " the ambassador indicated.

Commenting on the trilateral cooperation between Cyprus, Jordan and Greece, Ioannou highlighted that such cooperation added a new perspective in the relations between the three countries, adding "it aims at promoting their cooperation in areas of common interest, but also at identifying and addressing common challenges. It also serves as a discussion forum for the interlocutors of the three countries, in which they can exchange views and ideas on regional problems and developments".

In July 2021, the envoy said, the 3rd Summit between the three countries, was hosted by the Prime Minister of Greece Mr. Mitsotakis in Athens, with the participation of His Majesty King Abdullah and President Anastasiades, pointing out "it should be recalled that, the first trilateral summit was held in Nicosia, in January 2018, while the second one was held in April 2019 in Amman."

With regard to the two countries’ trade cooperation, the ambassador indicated that the area of trade is among those on which Cyprus and Jordan shall work more intensively, as the trade volume between the two countries remains very low and it is not representative of the excellent political relations of the two countries.

Contrary to the trade exchanges between Cyprus and Jordan, cooperation in the area of tourism is at a very good level, especially as regards the tourism flow from Jordan to Cyprus, he highlighted.

The envoy said "in the recent years, the number of Jordanians who visited Cyprus doubled. From 8,500 in 2017, it rose to 15,000 in 2018 and 18,000 in 2019. Unfortunately, the pandemic put a temporary pause to this positive trend. However, the indications we have for this year are promising, as during the summer there were 8 direct flights a week from Amman to Cyprus, and the information we have is that all flights were full."

Ioannou also pointed out that the Deputy Minister of Tourism of Cyprus is expected to visit Jordan in the coming months, in an effort to further improve the cooperation between Cyprus and Jordan in the area of tourism, in a mutually beneficial way, conferming " a basic idea in our cooperation with Jordan, is the promotion of joint tourist packages, a project that is expected to be beneficial for both countries."

The official expressed the gratitude of the Republic of Cyprus to Jordan for the stance of principles it holds all these years on the Cyprus problem and its support for a just, comprehensive and viable settlement of the problem, in line with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and international law.

"February 2022 will mark the completion of 60 years of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Cyprus and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. During these 60 years, the progress in the advancement of the bilateral relations between Cyprus and Jordan is remarkable. A turning point to this progress was the decision of the government of Cyprus to open an Embassy in Amman in 2009, which was reciprocated by Jordan with the opening of an Embassy in Nicosia in 2016," he said, adding that there is a mutual will by both countries to intensify their efforts for the further advancement of their bilateral relations and in this regard, I will personally spare no effort to work hard during my tenure for the achievement of this goal.

Answering a question on the Palestinian issue, he said that Cyprus supports a comprehensive, just, and lasting settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the two-state solution, in accordance with international law and relevant UN resolutions, ensuring the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state on 4 June 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side in peace with Israel, within secure and recognized borders.


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