Ambassador Dr Gabriela Guellil presenting her credentials
Speech of Dr Guellil:
It is a great honour for me to hand over the letter of credence by which the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, His Excellency Mr Christian Wulff, has accredited me as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Cyprus. At the same time, please accept the Letter of Recall of my predecessor, Dr Gottfried Zeitz.
Relations between our two countries, Germany and Cyprus, are well established and sound. They cover half a century – in 2010 we celebrated 50 years of bilateral diplomatic relations.
Nicosia continues to be divided. It is our sincere wish that this division will be overcome soon. It is our honest desire that your efforts, Excellency, to come to a viable and lasting agreement to reunify Cyprus will be successful. Germany closely follows and fully supports your intensive labour and we are confident that you will make the best use of the good offices offered by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The agreed goal of the negotiation, a bizonal bicommunal federation with political equality, a single citizenship and international identity, if achieved, indeed offers new and very attractive prospects of not only Cyprus, but the Eastern Mediterranean as well as the European Union and the International Community. We are aware that there are many difficulties, that it needs determination, perseverance and courage to pursue the path leading to the goal. Yet, we are convinced that the objective is worth all the efforts. Fifty years after the Republic of Cyprus became independent and a sovereign member of the United Nations, Germans from the West and from the East, who had for so long hoped to become one country and one society again, commemorated 20 years of reunification. There is no wall anymore separating one part of my country from the other. Cyprus and its people should share this wonderful experience.
Cyprus still is a young member of the European Union. Eight years after its accession to the European Union the Republic of Cyprus will hold the Presidency of the European Union during the second semester of 2012, less that a year from now. Important decisions will have to be taken or prepared then. We are confident that Cyprus will master his challenge with great enthusiasm, guiding European Union affairs effectively and objectively during this important period next year. I would like to reiterate our readiness to assist, wherever and whenever deemed useful, sharing our experiences as partners. The European Union is undergoing unprecedented hardships at present, rocking the boat. Trust and co-operation are needed to stabilize the political and economic structures of the Union and to strengthen and enhance the political and economic basis of our common currency. Defending the Euro in times of crisis is and will remain a task of paramount importance for all partners and in the future, for our generation as well as the younger generations in Europe.
Relations between our two countries are diversified, manifold ties exist between our two nations. Cypriots and Germans are indeed travelers. Many Cypriots have visited my country over the years and many Germans have come to Cyprus as tourists. Cyprus has an outstanding reputation as an island where the sun is shining almost all the year round. Cyprus is a magnet for its beauty, its nature and its cultural heritage. I consider it my duty and a privilege to actively contribute to further the exchange between our societies.
You honoured the reopening of the Goethe-Institut by your presence in June. I had the pleasure to attend and listen to your strong appeal for education and culture. Next to the Ledra Palace, in the heart of divided Nicosia, the Goethe-Institut occupies a unique place to offer what it is meant to do: German language courses, of course, but also a platform for lively exchange, especially for young people. We hope that the
Goethe-Institut with its international mind and the hearts of its team will be able to contribute significantly to foster the rapprochement of both Cypriot communities in the future. Let me thank you, His Excellency, again for supporting our Goethe-Institut.
Together we can achieve more in the fields of education and culture, as well at school and at university level. Promising initiatives like the partnering in a lyceum in Limassol, the Department of European Studies at the University of Cyprus and the Cyprus Institute are bearing fruits and will be pursued. I am convinced that we will be able to strength the co-operation between our two countries so as to meet the aspirations of our peoples in a more united and a prosperous Europe. The growing interest of young Cypriots to study in Germany is very encouraging. Likewise, it is my strong wish that young Germans will continue to discover Cyprus and its charm, where the sun is smiling and where people are smiling and where Aphrodite is home.