The reception to celebrate French national day was held Wednesday 10th July at the Residence de France, in presence of the Foreign Affairs Minister of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nikos Christodoulides and numerous guests.
The Ambassador delivered the following speech :
Mr President of the Parliament,
Your Beatitude Archbishop of Cyprus,
Former President of the Republic,
Ministers and former Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear compatriots, dear friends,
Thank you, Minister, for being here with us this evening to celebrate our National Day. This is a great honour.
To begin, I would like to send our warmest wishes for a very speedy recovery to the President of the Republic who cannot be here today
I would like to thank our sponsors and the Cypriot artists who lent us their beautiful artwork to decorate the Residence. Eleni Pratsi, Michèle Ansermet Papadopoulou, Theodoulos Gregoriou, Marina Olympiou, Eleni Phyla and Doros Dimitriou.
I also want to welcome our Turkish-Cypriot guests and thank them for being here with us.
This year has confirmed the strength of the French-Cypriot friendship.
Many visits took place between our two countries.
I mainly make reference to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs or of National Defence but also to the Rector of the Academy of Paris, the President of the Constitutional Council, the MPs of the friendship groups, the President of Agence France Presse, the Chief of Staff of the Navy.
Then, Cyprus received Emmanuel Macron during "MED 7" held in Nicosia at the end of January 2019. At this meeting, our President of the Republic expressed in the clearest way our strongest solidarity to the Republic of Cyprus and our commitment to its sovereignty. This is the constant position of France. For us, Cyprus is a partner within the European Union and an ally.
France supports your efforts to settle the Cyprus problem. On this, we have been consistent in our views towards the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots who are working for the solution. For us, a fair settlement must comply with the UN resolutions and respect the acquis communautaire.
France wishes to maintain the UN peacekeeping force (UNFICYP) not by conservatism but to ensure the safety of the island. This is the position that we defend in New York.
Our cooperation is actively developing. French investors come to Cyprus or consolidate their position such as TOTAL, but also CNP in the insurance sector, "Monaco Telecom" which bought MTN for mobile telephony as well as the ACCOR group which has major projects in the hotel industry. We should not forget that the European University of Cyprus is part of the GALILEO French higher education network.
In defence, our cooperation is making a significant progress. This cooperation is developing on an equal footing. This is the common intention of our two countries. This is what we have been doing for the past two years.
As happens every year, we have been active with our Cypriot partners.
Cultural events, debates and exhibitions took place at the Embassy, at the French Institute and at the French-Cypriot school. Dozens of Cypriots - Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots – participated in and helped us organising them. I would like to warmly thank each and everyone of them.
We also celebrated the French gastronomy. Mr Andreas Mavrommatis, Cypriot chef established in Paris, returned to Cyprus for this occasion.
I will now address my compatriots in French.
Dear friends, dear compatriots,
Cyprus, where we live, is a friendly and welcoming country and the French community is perfectly integrated.
Many of you are here for work, to study or due to family commitments.
The Embassy is at your service. Other French or French-Cypriot institutions are present throughout the country and ready to help you: our “conseiller consulaire” in Cyprus, the French-Cypriot School, our honorary consuls, the French Alliances in Limassol and Paphos, the foreign trade advisers and associations of French people or of former students in France.
I wish to express my sincere appreciation to all the French people in Cyprus since my mission as ambassador to the Republic of Cyprus will end soon.
I also greet our Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot friends, the diplomatic community and the United Nations.
Thank you for your attention.
Vive la République de Chypre.
Vive la France.