Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades is coming to India for the first time and the visit will commence from April 25. “India can help Cyprus in its quest for reunification as it has close ties with Turkey,” President Anastasiades has said ahead of the visit, according to PTI report. “Those who are close to Turkey can be helpful,” he said when asked whether he would seek India’s help to reunify Cyprus, which has about 37 per cent of its area under Turkish occupation since 1974. “Of course we shall ask Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi if any kind of possibility to intervene on the Cyprus question,” he said. His remarks assume significance as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit India on April 30, the report says.
Here’s what we know about Cyprus President’s upcoming visit
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1. On April 26, he will address a business forum in the western metropolis and later in the day travel to Delhi. On April 28, he will be accorded a ceremonial welcome and will participate in delegation-level talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. President Pranab Mukherjee will hold a banquet in his honour, according to IANS report.
2. Cyprus, eighth largest foreign investor in India, has cumulative Foreign Direct Investment of above USD 8.5 billion in areas of financial leasing, stock exchanges, auto manufacture, manufacturing industries, real estate, cargo handling, construction, shipping and logistics.
3. As the talks between the two communities – Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots — have restarted this month, Anastasiades is hopeful of finding an early solution. The reunification talks stumbled over the years over the issue of territory and security. The Turkish speaking community, which is in minority, wants a significant say in the decision making process and wants Turkish forces on the ground even after the reunification which are the main sticking points in the talks.
4. Replying to a question on India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Anastasiades said his country as a member of the 48-member bloc supports India’s bid. He also reaffirmed Cyprus’ support for India’s permanent membership in the UN Security Council. “India is not a threat to any of its neighbours. It’s a stabilising factor,” he said.
5. The President said that Cyprus, which shares excellent ties with countries of the European Union and with neighbours like Greece, Egypt and Israel, can play a role in furthering India’s interests by speaking to its partners to give the most favourable treatment to India.
6. Cyprus also wants to help India to facilitate the Free Trade Agreement with the European Union.
7. Anastasiades will lead a 60-member strong delegation. During his visit he will travel to Mumbai and Delhi. He will meet his counterpart President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. He will present a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi to his Indian counterpart. He will be accompanied by the ministers of finance, energy, transport and agriculture.
8. During his visit, the delegation accompanying him will promote Cyprus as a gateway for Indian companies wanting to enter the European markets by setting their bases in the country. With a double taxation avoidance treaty in place, authorities here feel that it would give level-playing field to all.
9. It also wants to cooperate with India in space sector as it feels that clear skies of Cyprus can help Indian scientists to do a lot of research in space sector by establishing a centre there. Service sector is another area where Cyprus has a lot to offer to India. Cyprus is also looking to collaborate with India in the healthcare sector. Cyprus, which boasts beautiful beaches and other natural beauty, aside from wines, also wants to promote itself as a tourist and marriage destination for Indians.
10. The Cyprus government is also keen to woo Bollywood producers to shoot their movies in the country. Anastasiades is expected to be given a guided tour of Bollywood studios in Mumbai. Cyprus also wants India’s help in developing a Silicon Valley-style technological park. Cyprus, which is Europe’s second largest shipping management centre, also seeks to cooperate with India in the sector.