Remarks by the Minister of Justice and Public Order,Ms Stephie Dracos, at the SBA event on the occasion of the celebration for the Platinum Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II
Happy Valley, Episkopi, 2 June 2022
It is with distinct pleasure that I join you all today for this extraordinary occasion.
Allow me first to thank our host, the Administrator of the SBA, Major General Rob Thomson, for his kind invitation to attend this charity event, and to join you in celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Queen Elizabeth is a remarkable world leader. For seventy years now, she is leading the United Kingdom with skill and dedication, turning herself into an example to all nations. During her long reign the United Kingdom has enjoyed stability and prosperity and has actively contributed to address global challenges.
Today’s Platinum Jubilee celebration is an excellent occasion to ponder upon the enduring bonds between our two countries and peoples.
Cyprus and the UK enjoy, undeniably, excellent relations. Our long-standing friendship is based on our common past, the strong people-to-people ties and our bilateral collaboration on a vast variety of topics.
Cyprus is particularly proud of the active Cypriot community in the UK, our largest community of Cypriots overseas. UK is also one of the favourite academic destinations to thousands of Cypriot students. In parallel, Cyprus is home to more than 60.000 Britons residing in our island, but also a holiday destination for more than a million British tourists per year. These allow for the flourishing bonds among our peoples.
Furthermore, the groundbreaking agreement for property development within the non-military areas of the British Sovereign Base Area that came into effect last month, will give a new impetus in our relationship and have real impact on people’s lives.
But our relationship extends far beyond this. Our economic, business and investment relations constitute an integral and fundamental part of our partnership, with the UK being one of Cyprus’s main trading partners for both goods and services.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Reinforcing our cooperation is needed now more than ever. Current global challenges require joint responses, based on our common values and principles.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine makes these principles, today, more relevant than ever. We look forward to continue working together to ensure peace and stability in Europe and beyond.
The Russian invasion and war in Ukraine touch upon open wounds for us Cypriots. Cyprus and Cypriots having our own tragic experience of foreign invasion and the continuing Turkish military occupation, fully understand the sufferings and the need for solidarity to the Ukrainian people.
That being said, the Cyprus issue unfortunately persists despite our tireless efforts for a peaceful, viable and just solution, in line with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions and International Law.
Turkey’s illegal actions both at sea and on the ground in Varosha, perpetuate the current deadlock and sabotage any effort aimed at the resumption of the negotiating process. They also pose a threat for stability, peace and security in the region.
Despite Turkey’s stance, we will continue assuming initiatives to provide a way out of the current deadlock, as our proposals for adopting bold Confidence Building Measures demonstrates.
On this occasion, I would like to thank the Government of the UK for its principled stance regarding the Cyprus problem.
In closing, I wish to thank, once again, Major General Rob Thomson for the invitation to join the celebrations and for the warm hospitality. I also wish to congratulate all who have contributed to this wonderful event.
I kindly ask you all to raise your glass for a toast to to the health and happiness of Her Majesty the Queen, to the progress and prosperity of the people of the UK and to the strong friendship between our two countries.
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