CYPRUS and Egypt on Friday signed a series of agreements and MoUs to enhance bilateral ties and further their strategic partnership.
During a ceremony in Nicosia, Finance minister Harris Georgiades, and his Egyptian counterpart Sahar Nasr, signed an agreement in the field of labour.
The Egyptian minister also signed an agreement with Transport minister Marios Demetriades on the protection and return of stolen or illicitly imported, exported or transferred cultural property.
MoUs were also signed with the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency and the
Chamber of Commerce and Industry with the Egyptian businessmen’s association.
Georgiades spoke of “another important step in enhancing the political and economic ties” between the two countries.
“We consider our relationship with Egypt as one of strategic importance. We consider Egypt a valued partner and we remain committed to further expanding and enhancing our already excellent and closed ties and today we have made an important step in this direction,” he said.
Georgiades said the protocol of cooperation had great potential for cooperation in energy, tourism, merchant shipping, transports, agriculture, fishery, commerce and education, as well as in the new fields of research, protection of antiquities and the environment and investments.
Nasr described the agreements as “critical” and an indication and confirmation of political and economic commitment from the highest level in both countries, “and hence as a team we are committed to move forward and to also forge more partnership”, she said.
The Egyptian minister also lauded the agreement on cultural heritage.
Demetriades, said Cyprus and Egypt faced similar issues when it came to the protection and return of stolen or illicitly imported, exported or transferred cultural property.
“Cyprus and Egypt, countries with rich archaeological culture, face similar issues, regarding illicit exportation and are very frequently requested to take actions for the return of stolen and illicit exported objects,” he said.
The agreement will provide the framework for the exchange of information on legislation for the protection of cultural property, especially with regard to the prevention of theft, clandestine excavation and illicit import, export or transfer, as well as relevant policies and measures implemented by the competent authorities of the two countries.”