By Stefanos Evripidou
CYPRUS is slowly regaining its credibility as a financial centre and as a trustworthy country with an important geopolitical role to play in the Eastern Mediterranean, said government spokesman Christos Stylianides on Friday.
Stylianides made the comments as the four-day official visit of President Nicos Anastasiades to London wrapped up.
The president was joined by Stylianides and the ministers of finance, foreign affairs and energy.
Speaking to reporters from London, Stylianides said the members of the Cypriot delegation held separate meetings with British officials on the sidelines of the official visit.
For his part, the government spokesman said he had a long meeting with the communications team at 10 Downing Street on Thursday where they mainly discussed the issue of the image of Cyprus in the United Kingdom, and more broadly in the international media, particularly following the damaging Eurogroup meetings last March.
Stylianides said he noted “a very positive climate regarding developments” since last March.
“Cyprus is regaining its credibility, and as a trustworthy country it has a very important geostrategic and political role to play in the Eastern Mediterranean as a result of the great geopolitical developments and turmoil in the Middle East. At the same time, and this is very encouraging, it is regaining its credibility once again as a financial centre,” he said.
The British communications team- consisting mainly of political advisers of UK Prime Minister David Cameron and senior British civil servants- made “very positive comments” regarding the image that Cyprus projects today, said the spokesman.
“In spite of the problems that exist, and nobody underestimates or ignores them, it seems that very positive and important steps have been made during this short period of time of ten months, since the known decisions (of the Eurogroup).”
Stylianides said he will remain in contact with the communications team, noting that it appears the UK has taken the political decision to assist Cyprus to regain its credibility on all levels.
He described the structure of Downing Street’s communications service as “impressive”, and expressed the belief that passing on this experience to Cyprus would help the country in efforts to restore its international image.
He argued that the contacts made by himself and the Cypriot ministers on the sidelines of the official visit “have deepened relations with the British government and this will be very helpful also at the level of international policy and common participation in European institutions, but also at the bilateral level”.