Astana, Nicosia Agree to Open New Chapter in Kazakh-Cypriot Relations

ASTANA – There is a huge potential for expanding cooperation between Kazakhstan and Cyprus, said Cypriot Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos during his March 25 meeting with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in Astana, reported Akorda.

Cypriot Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos and President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. Photo credit: Akorda.

The two sides exchanged views on the prospects of cooperation in trade and economics, investment and tourism spheres.

According to Tokayev, over 32 years of diplomatic relations, Astana and Nicosia have established a solid political dialogue and investment cooperation.

Earlier, Kombos met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Murat Nurtleu as part of his visit to Kazakhstan. Two ministers explored co-operation in several fields, including economy, trade, investment, advanced technologies, agriculture, tourism, transport, and logistics.

Minister Nurtleu welcomed the visit of Kombos and said Cyprus is one of the most important and reliable partners of Kazakhstan in the European Union (EU).

Cypriot Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Murat Nurtleu at the press briefing in Astana on March 25. Photo credit:

“We highly appreciate the initiative of opening the embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Astana. The government of Kazakhstan is ready to fully support the opening of the diplomatic mission,” said Nurtleu.

According to him, investments formed the core of bilateral relations. “Over the past 20 years, the economy of Kazakhstan has attracted over $4 billion from Cyprus in direct investment. In turn, investments from our country to Cyprus amount to $1.4 billion,” said Nurtleu.

As of Jan. 1, more than 390 companies with the participation of Cypriot capital were registered in Kazakhstan, reported the Kazakh ministry, of which almost 330 are currently active.

Speaking of the economic dimension of the relationship, Kombos said there is “untapped potential” to exploit. He emphasized the importance of organizing a forum, highlighting the necessity for its frequency and systematic approach in execution.

Connectivity is key in fostering economic cooperation, both ministers agreed. As a result of the meeting, ministers signed the memorandum of understanding between the aeronautical authorities of the two countries.

“This would enable the establishment, in the near future, of direct flights between Kazakhstan and Cyprus, and that would pave the way to conclude also an air service agreement,” said Kombos.

Minister Kombos also briefed minister Nurtleu on the latest developments regarding the Cyprus problem.

“We stand ready to proceed to substantive negotiations, always within the framework of the UN  Security Council resolutions about the bi-zonal, bi-communal federation and political equality. We are at a critical juncture. The two-state approach and rhetoric by the other side have not been accepted and this is a principle not only for the Republic of Cyprus, but for the international community as a whole. This is something that is founded on the dedication and the unwavering commitment to public international law and to the UN charter,” said Kombos.

“To this end, we are appreciative of Kazakhstan’s principled stance and dedication to the values of the law-based international community,” added Kombos.

He also emphasized the importance of developing a common understanding in counterterrorism and concrete steps that can be taken in that regard in the region.

“I was briefed by the minister as to the developments in Afghanistan and how that is a serious concern, not only for Kazakhstan, but the whole of the region. And this is something that the international community should be paying attention to, because we have seen it in the past as something that could very easily escalate into a regional or even a global crisis,” said Kombos.

“At the same time, in our part of the world in the Middle East, we have recently seen a crisis of cataclysmic proportions. The principles of humanitarianism and human dignity are currently being tested with tragic civilian casualties that are increasing daily and the use of hostages and terrorism by terrorists as a negotiating tool,” he added.

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