Indian President meets Cypriot counterpart, inks 2 MoUs

Nicosia: India and Cyprus signed two agreements on combating money laundering and cooperation in the field of environment on Monday as President Ram Nath Kovind met his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades and held wide-ranging talks here.

President Kovind is in Cyprus on the first leg of his three-nation visit to Europe to continue India’s high-level engagements with European countries. Kovind and Anastasiades exchanged views on economic cooperation during their talks.

India happens to be the fastest growing major economy in the world today with a growth rate of 8.2 per cent last quarter, the President said. “In this context and given Cyprus’ niche expertise in financial services and investment banking, both of us agreed that there was much scope to deepen our investment partnership,” Kovind said in a statement.

“We welcomed the signing of the MoU between Financial Intelligence Unit, India, and Unit for Combating Money Laundering of Cyprus. “This agreement would further strengthen the institutional framework to facilitate investment cross-flows. We also emphasised that the revision in the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement made in 2016 provided greater opportunities for our investment partnership to grow,” Kovind said.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a tweet: “India and Cyprus signed two MoUs (memorandum of understandings) today on Combating Money Laundering and Cooperation in the field of Environment in the presence of Presidents of both countries.”

Kovind and Anastasiades held discussions on issues of mutual interest, including promotion of business collaboration in the fields of IT and IT enabled services, tourism, shipping and renewable energy, Kumar said.

“President Anastasiades and I held detailed discussions on the way forward for our long-standing and excellent relations. I reaffirmed India’s un-wavering support to Cyprus for upholding its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We reviewed our ongoing bilateral and multi-lateral engagements and discussed issues of regional and global concern. We underlined our common objectives to negotiate the challenges that lie ahead. And we committed ourselves to further step-up our mutually beneficial ties, especially in the economic field,” Kovind said in the statement.

The President also paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi’s bust. “Our founding fathers, Archbishop Makarios and Mahatma Gandhi have blessed our partnership with timeless values, wisdom and foresight. We have the greatest respect for Archbishop Makarios in India,” Kovind said.

“India’s Father of Nation in #Cyprus! Before his address to the Parliament of Cyprus, President of India #PresidentKovind offered floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi’s bust at its premise,” Kumar said in another tweet.

President Kovind yesterday praised the Indian community in Cyprus for strengthening people-to-people relations between the two nations. Apart from Cyprus, Kovind will also visit Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. This is his first overseas state visit in the second year of his presidency.