British High Commissioner to Cyprus Irfan Siddiq expressed his encouragement at the excellent collaboration with Government and industry in Cyprus, regarding UK sanctions of Cypriot entities linked to Russia.
Speaking during a reception at the King’s Birthday Party hosted in Cyprus, Irfan Siddiq, on Wednesday evening, acknowledged the existence of challenges in the Cyprus - UK bilateral relations. However, he also emphasised, he had been hugely encouraged by the positive response of both government and industry and the excellent collaboration developed with British law enforcement agencies and other experts in tackling this issue.
“This constructive response provides opportunities to improve standards of regulation and compliance in the legal and financial sectors, which can only strengthen Cyprus’ attractiveness as a business and financial hub,” he said.
This provides opportunities to improve standards of regulation and compliance in the legal and financial sectors, which can only strengthen Cyprus’ attractiveness as a business and financial hub
Another challenge highlighted by High Commissioner Siddiq pertained to the field of education, specifically regarding Cypriot students' higher costs for studying at universities in the United Kingdom after Brexit. This has led to a shift in the choices of many Cypriot students who previously favoured the UK as their educational destination. Recognising the real risks associated with this change, the High Commissioner emphasised the importance of maintaining a strong educational connection between the two countries.
“We cannot afford to sever this link between our two countries and are committed to exploring ways to try to resolve this problem,” he said.
Furthermore Siddiq noted that the United Kingdom continued to unwaveringly support a just and enduring solution to the Cyprus Problem based on the agreed international framework of a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality.
“We continue to work with the parties to find ways to resume negotiations, building on the President’s new initiative,” he said.
Continuing his address, High Commissioner Siddiq acknowledged the growing partnership between the military and security sectors of the United Kingdom and Cyprus, citing the successful collaboration during the evacuation of civilians from Sudan as a prime example.
“This humanitarian operation could not have succeeded without the fantastic collaboration between the Cypriot authorities, the British High Commission and the British Forces in Cyprus,” he said.
Siddiq also referred to a promising future highlighting the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Strategic Cooperation and the agreement on Non-Military Development of the Sovereign Base Areas last year. As he noted, these agreements served as the foundation for a more modern partnership that respects the past while embracing the future.
He also noted that Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine continues to pose threats to international peace, security, and collective prosperity, adding that the United Kingdom and Cyprus share a strong determination to stand with Ukraine and against Russian aggression.