Cypriot lawmaker of Armenian origin finds commercial turnover between two countries to be low
YEREVAN, JULY 17, ARMENPRESS. This year marks the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties between Armenia and several countries. Cyprus is among those countries.
ARMENPRESS had an interview with Vardges Mahtesyan, the Cypriot lawmaker of Armenian origin, regarding the achievements, prospects of developing cooperation and issues related to the Armenian community.
Mr. Mahtesyan, this year marks the 25th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations with Cyprus. What developments have been recorded during these years and on what level are the bilateral relations?
During the past 25 years, the relations gradually grew and became closer and are currently on the high level of friendship and partnership. More than 25 agreements have been signed by the two governments during this period.
Cyprus and Armenia are cooperating in several directions: political, military, cultural, educational etc. I’d like you to touch upon each direction separately in terms of the level of cooperation. And what prospects exist in terms of enhancing economic cooperation?
The partnership of Cyprus and Armenia comprises numerous branches. In the political branch I can mention the agreement of partnership between the Diasporas of the two states, as well as the statements of Cypriot ministers in support of the self-determination right of the people of Artsakh. The high level participation of Cypriot officials, including the president, parliament speaker and other high-ranking officials in the 100th anniversary events of the Armenian Genocide in Yerevan is also noteworthy. In terms of military cooperation, I have to say that the military attaché of the embassy of Athens in Armenia serves in the same position in Cyprus also, and recently we received the Armenian defense minister and discussed important issues regarding the two countries.
According to your data, what is the volume of commercial turnover? What branches does it comprise and are the figures satisfying?
Unfortunately, the commercial turnover is not satisfactory. For example, in 2014-2016 the average annual imports from Armenia amounted 10,000 Euros, and exports to Armenia 600,000 Euros. There are no significant programs in the investment area.
The Cypriot lawmaker also mentioned that wide opportunities for tourism development exist, however the absence of direct flights and some visa complications act as obstacles.
The full interview is available in Armenian.