Envoy says Cyprus wants to strengthen Jordan partnership

1 Cypriot ambassador
Cypriot Ambassador to Jordan Michalis Ioannou (Photo: Petra)
AMMAN  — Jordan is a factor of stability in the Middle East, said Cypriot Ambassador to Jordan Michalis Ioannou, who added that the further improvement of bilateral relations and cooperation with the Kingdom is among his country’s priorities.اضافة اعلان

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 interpersonal relations between the political leadership of the two countries offers the framework and guidance for further improvement of the bilateral relations.

The ambassador pointed to areas in which there is room for further improvement, such as trade, investments, tourism, and education.

He said that Nicos Anastasiades, president of the Republic of Cyprus 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 said.

Commenting on the trilateral cooperation between Cyprus, Jordan, and Greece, Ioannou said that such cooperation added a new perspective in relations between the three countries, further promoting cooperation in areas of common interest, as well as 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,” the ambassador said on the trilateral cooperation.

In July 2021, the third summit between the three countries was held in Athens and hosted by the Greek prime minister. The summit included the participation of the King Abdullah and President Anastasiades. 

With regard to the two countries’ trade cooperation, the ambassador said that trade is one area the two countries shall work “more intensively” on, adding that the trade volume between the two countries remains very low, which does not reflect the excellent political relations between them.

Unlike trade, cooperation in the area of tourism between Cyprus and Jordan is at a very good level, especially with regards to the flow of tourists from Jordan to Cyprus, Ioannou said.

“The number of Jordanians who visited Cyprus in recent years doubled, from 8,500 in 2017 to 15,000 in 2018 and (went up to) 18,000 in 2019,” the envoy said. 

“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 eight direct flights a week from Amman to Cyprus, and the information we have is that all flights were full,” Ioannou said.

He said that the deputy minister of tourism of Cyprus is expected to visit Jordan in the coming months, in an effort to further improve cooperation between the two countries in the area of tourism in a mutually beneficial way. “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 ambassador said.

The official expressed the gratitude of the Republic of Cyprus to Jordan for its continued stance on the Cyprus problem and its support for a just, comprehensive, and viable settlement of the problem, in line with the relevant UN 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 bilateral relations between Cyprus and Jordan (has been) remarkable,” Ioannou said. 

“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,” the envoy said, adding that there is a mutual will by both countries to intensify their efforts for the further advancement of bilateral relations. 

“In this regard, I will personally spare no effort to work hard during my tenure for the achievement of this goal,” the ambassador said.

Asked on the Palestinian issue, the envoy 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 June 4, 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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