The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for directing foreign relations and diplomacy in Cyprus. The stated objectives of the country’s foreign policy is to have an active involvement in processes that aim to promote international co-operation, peace, security and stability. To achieve this, Cyprus maintains good diplomatic relations with many countries and participates in several multilateral organisations including the European Union, the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation and the Commonwealth of Nations. The country is also a strong advocate of universal human rights, sovereignty and the territorial integrity of nation states. Cyprus also strives to be a strong player in both the European and Eastern Mediterranean regions.
Some 70 countries operate diplomatic missions in or to Cyprus through over 85 embassies, high commissions and consulates. These missions are responsible for maintaining bilateral relations and promoting trade. Such missions also offer various consular services for their citizens abroad and also issue visas to Cypriots wishing to visit their respective countries. An example of a diplomatic mission in Cyprus is the High Commission of the United Kingdom which maintains the UK’s well-established relationship with Cyprus. Activities of the High Commission include organising events to promote British companies, facilitating relations between the British Sovereign Base Areas and the Cypriot government, and providing advice to Cypriot authorities on public-private partnerships, counter-terrorism and many other issues.
Cyprus maintains diplomatic relations with over 170 countries, operating resident diplomatic missions in over 40 countries. It also maintains a permanent representative mission to the European Union in Brussels, three permanent UN missions in New York, Geneva and Vienna, and permanent missions to several international organisations including the International Maritime Organisation, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Cyprus’ foreign missions serve as intermediaries in conducting the country’s bilateral diplomacy and its participation in multilateral organisation. These missions also provide various consular services to Cypriots overseas.