Memorandum of Understanding Signing to Expand Bilateral Science and Technology Cooperation

Under Secretary Krach and Deputy Minister Kokkinos sign the memorandum of understanding to expand bilateral science and technology cooperation, photo by PIO

October 20, 2020
Presidential Palace
Nicosia, Republic of Cyprus

Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach: Thank you, Deputy Minister Kokkinos, for the warm welcome.

As Secretary Pompeo said during his recent visit, “our relationship with Cyprus has never been better” and “we are proud to cultivate ties with nations that share our values.”

Last month, the United States and the Republic of Cyprus took a significant step in promoting cooperation on both security and technology when Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Christodoulides signed the memorandum of understanding in support of the Cyprus Center for Land, Open-Seas, and Port Security, or CYCLOPS. CYCLOPS will enable the United States to work with Cyprus to train partners throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, using the latest technology to improve security on land, at sea, in ports, and in cyberspace.

Today, I’m delighted to join Deputy Minister Kokkinos in taking another major step to strengthen our cooperation between our two nations by signing a new memorandum of understanding on bilateral science and technology cooperation.

Scientific collaboration and innovation are driving unprecedented change. And change is the most powerful word in any language. Because without change you are not developing, prospering or, growing. In Silicon Valley we say if you are not changing you are dying—and the best way to control the future is to invent it.

The United States and Cyprus can help invent that future together by combining our strengths.

We both recognize there are important synergies and mutually beneficial opportunities for us in working together, leveraging America’s technical and scientific capabilities with Cyprus’s strategic geographical location and leadership in sectors like FinTech. The Republic of Cyprus enjoys incredible advantages as it develops your 21st century knowledge-based economy, including a highly educated and multilingual work force, outstanding research institutions and universities, and a central location with excellent transportation links.

There is also another word that represents this agreement. If change is the most powerful word in any language, then trust is certainly the most important word in any language. It is the basis of every relationship. Personal, business, or otherwise. You buy from people you trust. You partner with people you trust.

The United States trusts Cyprus, because it respects the values that underpin democratic society—such as transparency, accountability, respect for the rule of law, respect for human rights, protection of intellectual property, and rigor and integrity in scientific inquiry.

The pandemic of 2020 has impressed upon all of us the value of critical communications infrastructure, the importance of integrity in biomedical research and manufacturing, and the need for increased e-governance and digital services. The growing global digital economy has highlighted the importance of digital security, data privacy, and protecting business information.

As the United States, the European Union, and other like-minded partners look forward with excitement to the opportunities of the digital future, others seek to exploit our greater interconnectivity and our freedoms—like China and Russia.

It is essential that the United States and the Republic of Cyprus work together as trusted partners to protect our citizens from those companies and countries we deem untrustworthy.

One thing I am emphasizing to all during this trip is the importance of 5G clean infrastructure. The need for cooperation among like-minded countries has never been more urgent than it is today. Businesses are watching the decisions made by European authorities, including those in Cyprus carefully when deciding where to invest and expand. These businesses know that all their information will travel over digital networks, many of which will be enabled by 5G wireless technology.

Any country that seeks to be a leader in research, innovation and entrepreneurship must offer a clean, secure 5G network and communications infrastructure.

The Republic of Cyprus has the potential to be a regional hub for innovation and tech services—if it makes the right investments for its future to use only trusted telecommunications vendors, starting now. That is why we are excited to have Cyprus on the path of the 5G EU Toolbox and join the Clean Network which is comprised of like-minded countries and companies that have committed to using only trusted vendors for 5G.

It is grounded in internationally accepted Digital Trust Standards—like the Prague Proposals and the Clean EU 5G Toolbox—designed to be an enduring strategy built on a coalition of trusted partners. The benefits to Cyprus are three-fold.

ONE: You are in good company now. 35 European nations, including 25 of the EU nations, are members of the Clean Network. There is strength in numbers and power in unity and solidarity.

TWO: It is vital for Cyprus’s national security. as A/S cooper was discussing yesterday.it is also crucial for intelligence sharing from the United States as NATO Deputy Secretary General GEOANA has said, 5G civilian networks are critical in peacetime and in wartime that we have a Clean Network.

THREE: As a member of the EU, it is important that your telcos understand that the Clean EU 5G Toolbox states that their boards must make the 5G suppliers’ decision. And if they choose a high-risk supplier, when something goes wrong they are personally liable.

The United States is excited about taking our trusted partnership to next level and I look forward to continuing to enhance the relationship between our two nations. Deputy Minister Kokkinos, thank you again for your partnership. May God bless the Republic of Cyprus and may God bless the United States of America.