His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and President Christodoulides discussed bilateral relations and their prospects, in addition to issues of common interest.
The discussions broaden horizons for strengthening, developing and advancing relations between the two countries in various fields.
Qatar and Cyprus have strong, long-term friendly relations based on mutual respect and shared visions on many international and regional issues, as well as the shared desire of the leaderships of the two countries to raise the level of bilateral co-operation in various fields.
Diplomatic relations between Doha and Nicosia were established in 2001. They culminated in the opening of resident embassies in the capitals of the two countries. The embassy of Cyprus was opened in Doha in 2004, while the Qatari embassy was opened in Nicosia in 2007, as the first Gulf embassy in Cyprus.
Since that time, relations between the two countries have witnessed rapid development in all fields, especially in reconstruction and gas. These relations also provides abundant opportunities that add to the Qatari economy an active and extremely important base station in the middle of the Mediterranean, as Qatar is always keen to expand the circle of its international relations and diversify the fields and locations of foreign investments, as well as build bridges of constructive and fruitful co-operation with all peoples and countries of the world.
There are a number of agreements that regulate relations between Qatar and Cyprus and cover political, economic, commercial, technical, educational, legal, health, and tourism co-operation and in the field of energy and seawater desalination, in addition to the banking and financial sector, encouraging and protecting mutual investments and air transport, avoiding double taxation and preventing financial evasion with regard to income taxes.
Relations between Doha and Nicosia have been strengthened through mutual visits at various levels, the most important of which was the visit of His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani to Cyprus in 2010, which resulted in the strengthening and development of bilateral relations and the signing of a number of important agreements between the two countries. In 2009, former president of Cyprus Demetris Christofias visited Doha while former president Nicos Anastasiades visited in 2014, heading a high-level official and commercial delegation, which included a number of ministers and more than 60 businessmen and representatives of major national and private companies in Cyprus.
In the context of that visit, former president Christofias highlighted the importance that his country attaches to enhancing and strengthening its economic relations with Qatar.
He expressed his happiness that it was confirmed during an expanded session with His Highness the Amir, that they shared the common goal of strengthening and expanding co-operation between Doha and Nicosia, especially in the economic field, in order to inaugurate a new era of prosperity between the two countries.
He stated that there are promising opportunities for growth in many other sectors in Cyprus, including maritime transport, tourism, large-scale development projects, education, health, research and renewable energy, noting that all of these sectors were discussed during the official meetings with the Amir.
In an indication of the prominence of Qatari-Cypriot relations, former president Anastasiades witnessed the opening ceremony of the new Qatari embassy building in Nicosia, in December 2021. During the opening ceremony, an official announcement was made that the name of the street on which the embassy building was located in will be changed to Qatar Street while the park adjacent to the embassy building was called Doha Park.
In a speech on this occasion, he said that the political and economic relations between Cyprus and Qatar witnessed important development and continuous growth over the past years.
Cyprus is located in the eastern Mediterranean basin and is the third largest island in it after Sicily and Sardinia. Its area is 9,251sq km, and its population is more than 1.244mn people. It enjoys a strategic location between the European, Asian and African continents. Its membership in the European Union makes it a gateway to a variety of activities in many commercial, touristic and economic fields. Cyprus is classified as a high-income country and occupies 16th place in per capita income in the world. Cyprus’ economic performance is considered one of the best among many economies of the European Union countries.
The Cypriot economy is based mainly on tourism and services. About three-quarters of Cypriots work in the services field, while the agricultural sector employs 5% of the workforce. There are promising opportunities for growth in many other sectors on the island, including oil and gas, maritime transport, tourism, With large-scale development projects, education, health, research and renewable energy, the government aims to maintain Cyprus’ reputation as a reliable financial centre and attractive investment destination.
It is estimated that the contribution of the technology sector to the Cypriot economy amounted to 3bn euros last year, through more than 1,200 foreign companies. Shipping is one of the most important pillars of the Cypriot economy and has contributed significantly to its GDP over the years. The island is considered the largest ship management centre in Europe and one of the largest in the world. It also has a major maritime group of more than 250 shipping companies offering a wide range of shipping-related activities such as ship management, chartering and marine insurance.