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18 July, 2024
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US investment and educational opportunities rise in Cyprus

Cyprus eyes inclusion in US visa waiver program


The recent meeting between Cypriot Foreign Minister Konstantinos Kompos and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has underscored the strong and growing ties between Cyprus and the United States, which are now at their most favourable point in history. Officials in Nicosia positively evaluated the outcomes of Kompos' visit to the US, attributing the success to sustained efforts to emphasize Cyprus's strategic importance to Washington.

Central to the discussions was the Strategic Dialogue, a mechanism the US employs to maintain regular sectoral cooperation with key partners. The establishment of annual meetings between high-level delegations from both nations in Nicosia and Washington marks a significant milestone. The first round of these consultations is scheduled to take place in Nicosia in September, involving senior officials from both countries' foreign ministries. The US currently has strategic dialogues with 30 countries, including 13 EU member states. Cyprus's inclusion in this group enhances its standing as a close and valuable partner to the US.

The potential inclusion of Cyprus in the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is expected to further bolster bilateral relations. This move would allow Cypriot citizens to travel to the US for business or tourism for up to 90 days without a visa, significantly simplifying travel procedures. Presently, Cyprus, Bulgaria, and Romania are the only EU member states not in the VWP. Progress noted during Kompos' US visit indicates that Cyprus is on track to join the programme soon. A bilateral agreement on the use of travel data between Cyprus and the US is set to be signed to facilitate this inclusion.

The ongoing crisis in the Middle East and the humanitarian corridor established by Cyprus have played a crucial role in strengthening US-Cypriot relations. This initiative has highlighted Cyprus's capacity to contribute meaningfully to regional stability, earning it recognition from the US as a reliable and predictable partner in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Cyprus's diplomatic efforts are also seen as beneficial in several other areas, including strengthening political, economic, social, and cultural ties between the two nations. Enhanced cooperation in critical sectors such as security and energy is also on the agenda, as is emphasising Cyprus's role as a stabilising force in the region. Furthermore, there are new opportunities for American investment in Cyprus, the promotion of Cypriot products in the US market, and expanded possibilities for young people through university exchanges, educational programmes, and knowledge-sharing initiatives. Cooperation in advanced fields such as research and technology is also developing.

These developments point to a deepening of the Cyprus-US relationship, with promising prospects for continued collaboration and mutual benefit.

[Summary of Apostolis Tomaras' original story in Greek published in Kathimerini's Cyprus edition]

Cyprus  |  US  |  politics

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