Nicosia (Cyprus), Oct. 8: Cyprus today came out strongly in favour of a permanent seat for India in the UN Security Council.
President Glafcos Clerides warmed the cockles of Indian hearts when at a dinner reception for Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee he declared that “taking into consideration its place, size and potential as a major power, we firmly believe that in the framework of the envisaged UN reforms, India deserves a permanent seat in the Security Council.”
Glafcos also lent support to the Indian position on Jammu and Kashmir. Cyprus is itself a victim of partition and, therefore, it was not surprising to hear the President declare that division was not an appropriate response to questions of ethnic, racial or cultural diversity. Rather, it only perpetuated and magnified obstacles to the peaceful co-existence of human communities, cultures and traditions.
At their meeting earlier, the Cypriot President welcomed the elections in Jammu and Kashmir and condemned cross-border terrorism.
Vajpayee praised Cyprus as “a time-tested and valuable ally”. When the nuclear tests were conducted in 1998, Cyprus refused to condemn India.
In reply to the banquet speech of the President, he said: “We deeply appreciate the consistent support of Cyprus on issues of vital concern to India.”
As if to bolster his argument, he added: “Where else in the world would you find another capital city where the Indian high commission is located on Indira Gandhi Street and the National Parliament on Jawaharlal Nehru Avenue with a statue of Mahatma Gandhi right next to it' These are declarations of friendship more eloquent than words.”