Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades Expects India's Support In Its Reunification

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Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades Expects India's Support In Its Reunification

President Nicos Anastasiades will meet President Pranab Mukherjee and PM Modi.

Nicosia:  As President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades begins his four-day tour to India tomorrow, he said Cyprus sees India to be instrumental in its reunification process.

"Those who are close to Turkey can be helpful," he said. In 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus and occupied about 37 per cent area. 

The president said there will be talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to see if there is a possibility of India intervening on the Cyprus question, but insisted that Cyprus won't do things that "may make friends uneasy". 

"If they are not able to intervene, we will not ask them. We are not going to ask something that may harm India's interest," he said. 

Mr Anastasiades is visiting India with a 60-member delegation and will meet President Pranab Mukherjee and PM Modi in New Delhi. He will also visit Mumbai. The talks between the two sides to reunify the island stumbled over the years on the issue of territory and security. The Turkic-speaking community wants a significant say in the decision-making process and wants Turkish forces on the ground even after the reunification, which are the main sticking points in the talks. 

The aim of the visit is to reaffirm Cyprus' ties with India, which has supported the country's unification efforts. His visit assumes significance as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit India soon after him.

Talking about India's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Mr Anastasiades said Cyprus, a member of the 48-nation bloc, supports India's bid. He also reaffirmed Cyprus' support for India's permanent membership of the UN Security Council. 

"India is not a threat to any of its neighbours. It's a stabilising factor," he said. 

During his visit, the president will promote Cyprus as a gateway for Indian companies aspiring to enter the European markets. As the double taxation avoidance treaty is in place, authorities here feel that it would give level-playing field to all. Cyprus also wants India's help in developing a Silicon Valley-type technological park. It also seeks to cooperate with India in the shipping sector.
 

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