A brief ceremony was held today, March 27, 2018, at the Ministry of Finance, for the delivery of technical and educational equipment by the United States Ambassador to Cyprus, Ms Kathleen Doherty, to the Minister of Finance, Mr Harris Georgiades.
This offer is part of the technical and educational assistance provided by the Government of the United States to the Republic of Cyprus on export control issues. This equipment is expected to help the Customs Department considerably to carry out more effective controls on the sensitive issue of illicit trafficking of weapons of mass destruction.
During the ceremony, US Ambassador Ms Kathleen Doherty, on her part said: “Thank you Minister and thank you Director. We are very happy to be here today. We are giving some equipment here that we just saw a demonstration of. This equipment is to combat country bad and illicit goods that come in through ports and airports anywhere the world. We use them throughout the world. We are very pleased to give this to the Ministry of Finance and the Customs Department in particular. The equipment is worth over about $150,000 and we are donating it and we are also to provide training to how to use this. This is one aspect of how we are looking to reinforce and strengthen our relationship with the Republic of Cyprus. Thank you again for inviting us today and looking forward to working with you, the Director and with the Ministry, on this particular aspect. Thank you.”
Following, the Finance Minister, Mr. Harris Georgiades, on his part said: “Excellency, thank you very much for being here today. Especially thank you for this very tangible and important manifestation of the excellent cooperation that our governments enjoy in a number of policy areas and obviously custom control is a very important area. Cyprus enjoys a privileged geographical position, offering opportunities but at the same time it raises responsibilities for us and for the Authorities, for the Customs Department especially, and I have always taken care to know and to understand our Customs Department is not only tax raising agency. It is a law enforcement agency and the Government is absolutely determent to do whatever is necessary to regulate, control and facilitate legitimate trade and commerce but at the same time to fully implement our international commitments as a member of the international community in combating illicit trade especially in areas including narcotics, dual-use material and illegal weapons transfers. In this respect the equipment that we are receiving today from the US administration and also the technical support and the training will be instrumentally in enhancing our abilities, our capacities to play our role. Let me also highlight that this is not a one-off step, its part of a long standing cooperation which goes back years and for that we are grateful, we acknowledge this support and we look forward to maintaining and enhancing this cooperation.”