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21-05-2024 12:48

Address by the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Nikos Christodoulides, at the ceremony for receiving the credentials of the new Ambassador of the Republic of Austria, Dr. Susanne Bachfischer

Your Excellency, 

It is with distinct pleasure that I receive today your Letters of Credence appointing you as the new Ambassador of the Republic of Austria to the Republic of Cyprus, as well as the Letters of Recall of your distinguished predecessor. As the new Ambassador of Austria, a valuable European partner and friend of Cyprus, I wish to assure you that the Government of the Republic of Cyprus will provide you with every assistance in the performance of your high duties. 

Cyprus and Austria share strong and historic bonds, underpinned by a joint commitment to upholding the international rules-based order and to safeguarding fundamental freedoms and human rights. At the same time, our two countries have enjoyed the continuous upgrading of the bilateral cooperation, as evident by the numerous agreements that have been concluded in a wide range of areas. In this context, I would like to express my Government’s strong wish and dedication to work tirelessly for further enhancing the bilateral relations between our two countries in all spheres of cooperation to the mutual benefit of our people.  

I strongly believe that both my visit to Austria last June along with the productive meeting I had with the Federal Chancellor, as well as the official visit of Chancellor Nehammer in Cyprus in April 2022, attest to the fact that our relations have been significantly deepened and intensified in recent years. To this end, I wish to reiterate my willingness to keep up this momentum of cooperation in all areas of mutual interest, including security and defence, education, tourism, digital transformation and culture. 

We are, indeed, in the midst of a period of fundamental global challenges. Violations of international law must be addressed decisively whilst threats on international peace and security require a collective response. From the Russian invasion to Ukraine, to the resurgence of terror in the Middle East and the challenges of energy and climate crises, all call for effective joint efforts, shared responsibility and solidarity. 

Your Excellency, 

This year marks a somber anniversary for the Republic of Cyprus. 2024 marks the completion of fifty years since the illegal 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the ongoing military occupation of almost 37% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus. 

Since day one, I have taken steps that aim at breaking the impasse in the negotiations. At all my contacts I convey the message that the status quo is neither viable nor static and I stress the need for immediate resumption of negotiations within the agreed framework. 

Cyprus is an EU member state and the Cyprus problem is a European problem, that requires European solutions. I am convinced that the EU has every interest to actively contribute to the final settlement, utilizing all political and economic tools at its disposal, with the framework of EU-Turkey relations. 

The Cyprus issue can become a new successful model of peace for the EU, through which our Union can prove in practice that it possesses the unifying power and tools to become a founder of peace and security. In this context, let me extend our profound and sincere gratitude for Austria’s principled stance on the Cyprus problem and for your country’s commitment to a just and lasting solution in accordance with the relevant UNSC Resolutions and the EU acquis. 

Your Excellency, 

I conclude by extending my heartfelt wishes for a successful tenure in Cyprus and I kindly request that you convey to His Excellencies the President Van der Bellen and Chancellor Nehammer our warmest greetings and a message of sincere friendship and solidarity.

Ambassador Bachfischer, I warmly welcome you to Cyprus.