Newsroom / CNA
The US has donated detection equipment to the Cyprus Customs Department in a move described as further strengthening the relations between the two countries.
The devices, worth about $150,000 (€120.000), are used to detect contraband and illicit goods transported through ports and airports anywhere in the world, US Ambassador to Cyprus Kathleen Doherty said in a statement at the Ministry of Finance, adding her country will also train local Customs officials on the use of these systems.
“We think it is one aspect of how we are looking to reinforce and strengthen our relationship with the Republic of Cyprus,” the US diplomat added.
The minister said the donation is “a very tangible and important manifestation of the excellent cooperation our governments enjoy in a number of policy areas”
On his part, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said the donation are “a very tangible and important manifestation of the excellent cooperation our governments enjoy in a number of policy areas,” adding that customs control is a very important area.
“Cyprus enjoys a privileged geographical position offering opportunities but at the same time it raises responsibilities for us and for the authorities and for the Customs Department especially,” he added, noting that “customs department is not only a tax-raising agency, it is a law enforcement agency.”
The minister went on to say that the government is absolutely determined to do whatever is necessary to regulate as well as control and facilitate legitimate trade and commerce. But he said this could be better accomplished by carrying out Cyprus’ international commitment fully, as a member of the international community, in combating illicit trade, especially narcotics, dual-use products and technologies as well as illegal weapons transfer.
Georgiades added that this equipment along with the technical support and training “will be instrumental in enhancing our abilities and our capacities to play our role.”
The finance minister said the donation is not a one-off step in a long-standing cooperation between the two countries, noting that he would look forward to maintaining and enhancing this cooperation.