NICOSIA.- (CNA) — Cyprus Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister George Lillikas will have a series of meetings with neighbouring countries in order to explore whether they are interested in participating in the setting up of a Harvard University International Research Centre on the island, on public health and environmental issues.
Lillikas told CNA that the Ministry of Commerce has already prepared a letter, to be sent soon to the Ministers responsible for Research of the neighbouring countries, in order to start a dialogue regarding their involvement in the setting up of the research centre.
After meeting Syria’s new charge d’ affaires in Nicosia, Hamzah Hamzah, Lillikas said the Cyprus government and the University of Harvard would like to set up a regional research centre, with the participation of other countries, including Turkey at a later stage.
”Turkey is not included in our first priorities, but we would not exclude a future cooperation with Turkey at a later stage. The problem is that Turkey refuses to recognise the Republic of Cyprus,” he noted.
Lillikas said that he accepted an invitation extended to him by Syrian Minister of Tourism, to visit the country in October. He said during his visit to Syria he would discuss issues concerning tourism, cooperation for the regional research centre, as well as trade and investments and new opportunities for Syrian entrepreneurs after Cyprus’ accession to the European Union.
”The Ministry has already prepared a letter to be addressed to the respective Ministers of Research regarding the regional research centre of the Harvard University”, he said.
Lillikas told CNA that in the letter he would include information about the research centre, its goals, and the areas of interest.
”I will then invite them, if they are interested, to start a dialogue in order to explore ways for their participation in setting up the centre from scratch”, the Cypriot Minister added.