Seychelles-Cyprus agreement sees ecommerce, cybersecurity as areas for cooperation
The agreement was signed during the 4th Session of the Intergovernmental Commission Seychelles-Cyprus on Wednesday. (Jude Morel)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles and Cyprus have renewed an agreement that will provide a platform for more dialogue and stronger cooperation, said a top official of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The agreement was signed during the 4th Session of the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation at the Department of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.
“In the two-day session all areas of bilateral cooperation have been discussed and common ground has been established to ensure the implementation of all decisions taken,” said Lindy Ernesta, the Director General for Foreign Affairs.
The Cypriot director of planning for European Programmes Coordination and Development, Georghia Solomonidou-Christofidou, said that the agreement reflects the potential of cooperation between both countries in many sectors.
“The encouraging thing is that it also identifies potential areas of cooperation in new topics such as e-commerce, regulatory issues for utilities and cybersecurity,” said Solomonidou-Christofidou.
She added that Cyprus has two memoranda of understanding “ready to be signed between our two chambers of commerce, which will bring the private sector together to facilitate the ease of doing business and investment.”
The Seychelles-Cyprus Intergovernmental Commission was established in 1998 following the conclusion of an agreement on Long-Term Economic, Scientific, Technical and Industrial Cooperation. The agreement foresaw the establishment of a permanent Intergovernmental Commission between the two countries and in principle, meets every two years. The last one took place in March 2014.
Seychelles’ Foreign Affairs Director General said that Seychelles has decided to “take whatever action is necessary to propel the Seychelles-Cyprus relationship to greater heights. We look forward to consolidating our bilateral relation based on our long-standing diplomatic ties.”
She added that the agreement is taking into account the development of small island state, especially against climate change challenges.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, is more vulnerable to climate change as it is closer to the equator, making the water warmer than neighbouring islands Mauritius and Reunion, an overseas French department.
The agreement will also explore other areas of cooperation over the coming years including trade and investment, agriculture, education and human resource development, environment and blue economy, and youth and culture.
Although diplomatic relations between Seychelles and Cyprus were established on July 1, 1976, Ernesta said that “the historical link between the two countries goes further back and as far back as March 1956 with the deportation of Archbishop Makarios to Seychelles.”
Archbishop Makarios was exiled to the island nation in March 1956, when Seychelles was still under British Colonial rule. He spent some 13 months in exile in Seychelles before he was allowed to leave together with his fellow Cypriots in April 1957. He became the first President of Cyprus in December 1959, after Cyprus was declared an independent republic.