Finance Minister Harris Georgiades says a visit by a US delegation affirms that Cyprus is on the right track in combating money laundering, following a statement by California Congresswoman Maxine Waters who said “Cyprus is up to the challenge.”
Georgiades made comments after his meeting with Waters, who led a four-member bipartisan delegation of the US House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services on a trip to Cyprus earlier this week.
The visit is part of a multinational trip to Europe and the Middle East, with Waters’ team making a stopover in Cyprus to meet Georgiades, while meetings were also held with Central Bank of Cyprus Governor Constantinos Herodotou, MOKAS Head Eva Papakyriacou, and representatives from Cypriot banks and accounting firms, according to a US Embassy press release.
'It was an opportunity for us to give an update on the Cypriot economy and our ongoing effort to correct mistakes that admittedly existed in our own system,' the minister said
“They discussed anti-money laundering efforts and regulatory oversight in Cyprus and strengthening bilateral cooperation to ensure Cyprus’ financial sector is strong and healthy,” the statement added.
Chairwoman Waters said she was grateful that the Cypriot officials met with the delegation, adding that she looked forward to deeper cooperation between the US and Cyprus to build a robust anti-money laundering framework.
The finance minister said he was pleased with the meetings and added that “every contact at this level carries a special meaning.”
“This is an important committee of the US congress and I believe we had a very good discussion on international developments and the banking sector, but also it was an opportunity for us to give an update on the path of the Cypriot economy and our ongoing effort in these last few years to correct faults that admittedly existed in our own system,” the minister said.
Cyprus is up to the challenge
Waters also issued a statement saying she was pleased with the progress in Cyprus but also wished to see further advancement in the overall effort.
“I am pleased to see that the close cooperation and coordination between the Republic of Cyprus and the United States is beginning to pay off,” said the statement.
The congresswoman also added that while she “would like to see additional progress toward detecting and stopping illicit financial activity,” she said she was grateful to have had discussions and meetings in Nicosia adding that “Cyprus is up to the challenge.”
Waters, who vowed last year to scrutinize ties between President Trump and Deutsche Bank as well as Bank of Cyprus, is also pushing for impeachment of the US president, sayting “as a chair of the Financial Services Committee, I'm going to do the investigations.”
But some moderate Democrats in her own party fear oversight investigations might be a distraction or cause political damage to the party.