The US donated detection systems worth around $150,000 to the Cyprus customs department, in a move described as further strengthening the relations between the two countries.
This is equipment is used to combat contraband and illicit goods transported through ports and airports anywhere in the world, US Ambassador to Cyprus Kathleen Doherty said in statements during a ceremony at the ministry of finance, adding the US would also train customs officials on the use of the devices.
“We think this is one aspect of how we are looking to reinforce and strengthen our relationship with the Republic of Cyprus,” the US diplomat added.
Finance Minister Harris Georgiades described the donation as “a very tangible and important manifestation of the excellent cooperation our governments enjoy in a number of policy areas,” adding that custom control was 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.”
And the government, he added, was absolutely determined to do whatever necessary to regulate, control and facilitate legitimate trade and commerce but at the same time to fully implement international commitments as a member of the international community in combating illicit trade especially in areas including narcotics, dual-use material and illegal weapons transfer.
Georgiades added that the equipment along with the technical support and training “will be instrumental in enhancing our abilities and our capacity to play our role.”