The Government of Paraguay advocates the resumption of negotiations to reunify Cyprus in accordance with relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, shares the spirit of the Joint Declaration of February 2014 and lauds the efforts of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in his search for a just, stable and lasting solution for both Cyprus and the entire region, the new Ambassador of Paraguay to Cyprus, stationed in Paris Emilio Gimenez Franco has said.
Presenting his credentials on Thursday to Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Franco noted that for Paraguay, cooperation in economic, commercial, cultural, educational and scientific fields, is the appropriate framework in which to deepen and strengthen a bilateral relationship. He noted that in this context, it is the intention of the Government of Paraguay to subscribe instruments on judicial cooperation regarding extradition and the exchange of imprisoned persons as this is, inter alia, also of interest to the Government of Cyprus.
The Ambassador said that trade between the two countries is still not significant, there is, however, a potential to expand and deepen two-way contacts. He noted that Paraguay is a world class producer and exporter of food and clean energy and is first in its export of electricity and organic sugar and fifth in its export of meat, soya, corn, wheat and other agricultural products. It is also one of the most stable economies in the region that provides constant and sustained economic growth and it maintains an excellent climate for business and investments, he added.
Replying, President Anastasiades stressed that the recent assumption of the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community by Mustafa Akinci creates expectations and hopes for cooperation and joint collaboration, through engaging in substantive negotiations, with good will and determination,”so to finally reunite our homeland, free from any occupation forces, and for Greek and Turkish Cypriots to peacefully live and co-exist together, as they had been doing for centuries.”
Moreover he reiterated “our strong belief in the adoption of bold confidence measures aiming at building trust, confidence and good will between the two communities, thereby providing a much needed stimulus to the prospect of reaching a settlement” and welcomed Akinci’s public statements in support of such a prospect.
He noted however that the above-mentioned do not absolve Turkey, which still militarily occupies the northern part of Cyprus, from its obligations and responsibilities concerning the efforts to find a just solution and we do hope and expect that it will demonstrate genuine political will and negotiate in good faith, so as to contribute constructively to the efforts to reach a settlement as soon as possible, not only in theory and rhetoric, but through practical and substantial actions.
Anastasiades expressed his sincere willingness and determination to work tirelessly to achieve a settlement reuniting Cyprus. “It is the historically shared responsibility of the leaders of the two communities and all stakeholders involved to uphold these ambitions and find the right forward. It is a responsibility which I am whole-heartedly committed in undertaking,” he added.
Referring to Cyprus economy, Anastasiades said that it is now on the road to full recovery. He noted that Cyprus has made great progress on its reform program during these past two years, noting that at the same time, “we are aware of the challenges ahead. Unemployment is high; the private and public sectors are heavily indebted. Given the high percentage of non-performing loans, credit institutions are stepping up their recovery efforts.”
He said that the government is confident that the recently adopted legislation on the reformed foreclosure law and the insolvency framework are important in addressing the issue of the non-performing loans.
“Our emphasis is now turned towards the necessary structural reforms. The focus of my government is on administrative structural reforms with the overall aim of setting the foundations for sustainable growth over the long run, attracting foreign direct investment and eventually creating a new economic model for the country,” the President noted, adding that the government`s top economic priority is the gradual return to capital markets, and the smooth completion of the macroeconomic adjustment program.
Referring to the bilateral relations, Anastasiades said that they are based on common democratic values and principles that both countries cherish and adhere to. “It is my Government’s objective to work towards the further enhancement of these ties and of our cooperation in various domains,” he stressed, adding also that as a member state of the European Union, Cyprus is willing and ready to contribute to the further development of Paraguay’s multidimensional relations and cooperation with the European Union.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY