Nicosia attaches great importance to the official visit of the President of India to Cyprus, early in September, calling it a “milestone” in bilateral relations.
Ram Nath Kovind is the first Indian head of state to visit Cyprus in nine years. Speaking to CNA, government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said: “The visit will be a milestone in deepening bilateral relations even further.”
During the visit between September 2 and 4, the two sides are expected to sign a number of bilateral agreements. Kovind will also address the plenary of the Cyprus House of Representatives and give a lecture at the University of Cyprus.
According to Prodromou, the visit is deemed as an important one, since “it is the visit of the leader of the country with the second largest population in the world and a rapidly advancing global financial power.”
He also referred to the friendly relations Cyprus and India traditionally maintain. “The two countries mutually support principled positions for one another. India was a country that supported Cyprus during the time of independence, while it maintains a firm principled stance with regard to the Cyprus issue,” he said.
Prodromou also said that there was great scope in further enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation in areas such as trade, investments, tourism and education, while noting India’s performance in areas such as finance and computer technologies.
Kovind is expected to arrive to Cyprus on Sunday, September 2, accompanied by high-ranking officials. On Monday, September 3, he will be received by President Nicos Anastasiades during an official ceremony at the presidential palace. The two will have a tête-à-tête meeting, followed by official consultations with the participation of delegations of both sides.
Nicosia and New Delhi are currently working on the finalisation of four to six bilateral agreements, expected to be signed after the conclusion of official consultations.
Later on Monday, Kovind will pay his respects to the Mahatma Gandhi bust, next to Cyprus House of Representatives, in the presence of the House Speaker Demetris Syllouris.
In the evening, Anastasiades will host an official dinner in his honour.
On Tuesday, Kovind will meet with Archbishop Chrysostomos and will later give a lecture at the University of Cyprus, speaking on “Youth, technology and ideas.” His speech will be followed by the unveiling of the bust of Rabindranath Tagore, an Indian Nobel Laureate of 1913.
He will also meet with members of the Indian community living and working in Cyprus. He will be accompanied by a minister, two members of parliament and two secretaries from the ministry of external affairs and the president`s secretariat, as well as other officials.
Anastasiades visited India between April 24-29, 2017. The last official visit from a president of India to Cyprus was that of Pratibha Patil, in October 2009.