Nat­gas, DP World in UAE Min­is­ter’s talks

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The Min­is­ter of For­eign Af­fairs and In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion of the United Arab Emi­rates, who was in Cyprus for the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the UAE em­bassy in Ni­cosia on Mon­day, ex­pressed his readi­ness to deepen re­la­tions with Cyprus in the sec­tor of en­ergy, mainly nat­u­ral gas and re­new­able en­ergy.

Speak­ing dur­ing a joint press con­fer­ence with his Cypriot coun­ter­part Ioan­nis Ka­soulides, Sheikh Ab­dul­lah bin Zayed Al Nahyan pointed out the UAE, that hosts the in­ter­na­tional Re­new­able En­ergy Agency, has been work­ing with Cyprus very closely on look­ing at the po­ten­tial on re­new­able en­er­gies, ac­cord­ing to the Cyprus News Agency.

He said it is one of the ar­eas that is a huge move for­ward not only for the en­vi­ron­ment but it is also com­mer­cially vi­able, be­cause the in­vest­ment cost of so­lar en­ergy be­comes cheaper ev­ery year.

“There are huge po­ten­tials here in Cyprus in ar­eas of so­lar, wind, geothermo (en­ergy)”, he pointed out.

“We’ll be very de­lighted to share our ex­pe­ri­ence with Cyprus, but also en­cour­ag­ing some of our com­pa­nies to come and look at the op­por­tu­ni­ties here in Cyprus”, he said.

Sheikh Ab­dul­lah said that his visit to Cyprus, in the con­text of his Euro­pean tour, could be a fur­ther step for­ward for a strong re­la­tion­ship both bi­lat­er­ally and in work­ing to­gether in a re­gion with many chal­lenges. He also said they talked about some re­gional chal­lenges and the re­gional un­der­stand­ing of these chal­lenges.

“Our re­la­tion­ship has been grow­ing in a va­ri­ety of ar­eas, eco­nom­i­cal, trade, tourism, flights. We are very grate­ful that Cyprus was the first coun­try that backed the UAE to get an ac­cess to the Schen­gen visa free move­ment, be­ing the very first Arab coun­try to have that priv­i­lege”, he said.

Min­is­ter Ka­soulides, wel­com­ing Sheikh Ab­dul­lah, noted that the United Arab Emi­rates is an in­flu­en­tial diplo­matic pow­er­house, as well as a force of mod­er­a­tion, with a strong pres­ence in the Arab world, in the Mus­lim com­mu­nity, in the re­gion and be­yond.

Ka­soulides said that dur­ing their dis­cus­sion they fo­cused on re­gional and in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ments and ter­ror­ism. The Cypriot For­eign Min­is­ter un­der­lined that the two coun­tries share a like-minded ap­proach to re­gional and in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ments, as well as to the im­por­tance for en­hanced co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the mod­er­ate coun­tries in the re­gion to face the chal­lenges posed by ter­ror­ism, rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion and sub­ver­sion.

The two Min­is­ters also dis­cussed the re­la­tions be­tween the EU and the Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil, in light of the EU-GCC Min­is­te­rial Meet­ing that will be tak­ing place next week in Brus­sels, which Sheikh Ab­dul­lah and Min­is­ter Ka­soulides will be attending.

Re­gard­ing bi­lat­eral re­la­tions, Ka­soulides stressed that the ex­cel­lent po­lit­i­cal cli­mate be­tween the UAE and Cyprus pro­vides a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment to strengthen trade and fi­nan­cial ties.

“A tan­gi­ble ex­am­ple is the two sep­a­rate con­ces­sion agree­ments for the com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion of ac­tiv­i­ties within the Li­mas­sol port, which were awarded to the Emi­rati com­pany DP-World. The broader sec­tor of hy­dro­car­bons is also an­other area that has seen col­lab­o­ra­tions be­tween Cypriot and Emi­rati com­pa­nies and the same ap­plies for re­new­ables be­tween the two coun­tries. Tourism, in­vest­ments, fi­nan­cial ser­vices are only a few fields, where we want to see more re­sults”, he said.

Ka­soulides, speak­ing about the of­fi­cial in­au­gu­ra­tion of the UAE Em­bassy, un­der­lined that “this is a con­crete proof of the close­ness of our re­la­tions and of the prospects that lie ahead”.

Sheikh Ab­dul­lah said that since his last visit in Cyprus the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two coun­tries has been go­ing in the right di­rec­tion and re­ferred to the agree­ments for the com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion of ac­tiv­i­ties within the Li­mas­sol port.

“DP - World is one of our flag­ships for which we are very proud of”, he said, adding that “we are very proud that they’ve had the op­por­tu­nity to un­der­take such a big project in Cyprus”

In his ad­dress at the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the Em­bassy on Mon­day, Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades said the Emi­rati Gov­ern­ment’s ac­tion to open an Em­bassy in Ni­cosia is a mile­stone de­ci­sion which, he is con­vinced, will play a de­ci­sive role in fur­ther strength­en­ing our bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion.

“It sig­nals a new chap­ter in our re­la­tions, one that will cer­tainly fa­cil­i­tate the ex­pan­sion of the co­op­er­a­tion and in­ter­ac­tion be­tween our Gov­ern­ments, our in­sti­tu­tions and our so­ci­eties.”

“In re­cent years, we have wit­nessed a con­sid­er­able ad­vance in our re­la­tions, which re­flects our com­mit­ment to en­hance re­la­tions with the Arab coun­tries in gen­eral, and those of the Gulf in par­tic­u­lar. This de­sire is also il­lus­trated by the fact that, dur­ing these first three years of my term, I have paid of­fi­cial vis­its to most of the Gulf coun­tries, in­clud­ing the United Arab Emi­rates. This visit to Ni­cosia is fur­ther proof of the im­por­tance that your Gov­ern­ment at­taches to the de­vel­op­ment of our bi­lat­eral part­ner­ship”, he added.

Cyprus-Emi­rati co­op­er­a­tion, he stressed, grows steadily and ex­tends in an ar­ray of fields, in­clud­ing tourism, eco­nomic ex­changes and busi­ness co­op­er­a­tion.

“Com­mer­cial and trade ties have also ex­panded. It is worth not­ing that the well-known Emi­rati Com­pany DP World Ltd was awarded two con­ces­sion agree­ments for Li­mas­sol port, fol­low­ing a trans­par­ent in­ter­na­tional ten­der. I trust that this is only the be­gin­ning of a mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial re­la­tion­ship”, he said.

“We are also ex­tremely pleased,” said the Pres­i­dent, “that the United Arab Emi­rates cit­i­zens are able to travel to EU coun­tries with­out a visa.” Cyprus was one of the first EU mem­ber states which ad­vo­cated visa lib­er­al­i­sa­tion, and has been in­stru­men­tal dur­ing all stages of the pro­ce­dure, es­pe­cially dur­ing its EU Pres­i­dency, in 2012. He as­sured that Cyprus will con­tinue be­ing a close friend and ad­vo­cate of the UAE within the EU.

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