Newsroom / CNA
France’s Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian praised the role of former Foreign Minister of Cyprus in strengthening the ties between Cyprus and France, during a ceremony at the Embassy of France in Nicosia, where he awarded the medal of the National Order of the Legion of Honour to Ioannis Kasoulides, in the name of the President of the French Republic.
The French Minister stressed Former Minister’s "faith in our country, its language and values, and the spirit of cooperation with which you work with my predecessors in Quai d`Orsay”.
He also referred to Kasoulides early life, his student years in France and his influence from the student uprising in May 1968, as well as his political career in Cyprus.
He particularly pointed out that he was one of the men who contributed to the accession of Cyprus to the European Union in 2004 and that he was a tireless and committed supporter of the reunification of the island through dialogue between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
The French Minister described Kasoulides as 'a great Cypriot' but also 'a real friend of France'
He also said that Kasoulides had the idea of developing tripartite partnerships between Cyprus, Greece and Israel, Egypt or Lebanon, to enhance cooperation between neighboring countries that have to face common challenges in a sensitive area.
The French Minister described Kasoulides as "a great Cypriot" but also “a real friend of France”.
For his part, Kasoulides thanked the Minister for the honor and said that he accepted it on behalf of all the Cypriots who studied in France and who contributed to the promotion of Francophonie in Cyprus.
"During my stay in France, I did not just study the medical science, but I was also nurtured by the republican spirit, which is unique in France and the French Revolution, which guided me throughout my life," he said.
He also said he accepted the honor in the name of the traditional friendship between France and Cyprus, their partnership within the EU and the strategic partnership between the two countries in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
Le Drian concluded on Friday evening his one day working visit to Cyprus.