22 January 2014 14:25

The closure of the Danish embassy in Nicosia as of August 1 does not imply a change the Scandinavian country's policy towards Cyprus, honorary consul Efthyvoulos Paraskevaides said on Tuesday.
"Copenhagen's decision was based on economic, not political, criteria," he added before noting the excellent bilateral relations between the two EU countries.
He also said that Copenhagen only opened an embassy in Nicosia in 2004. Previously, the country's accredited ambassadors to Nicosia were based first in Damascus and later in Rome.
Denmark will seek other ways to maintain and even strengthen further the excellent relations between the two states, he added.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry's decision to close the mission in Nicosia was announced on its website last Saturday.
It said: "Denmark has launched a reform of the Danish Foreign Service implying an adjustment of the network of Danish Missions abroad. The reform means that there will be changes to the Danish presence in more than 25 countries. In this connection, a number of Missions will close for budgetary reasons."
It added: "The reform implies that Denmark unfortunately must close the Embassy in Nicosia as of August 1, 2014. Denmark will attach importance to finding other ways to continue the good cooperation with Cyprus and to pursue Danish interests in Cyprus after the closure of the Mission."
The closure in Cyprus was part of Denmark's largest reform and modernisation of the Danish Foreign Service in recent times. The key elements of the reform are that Denmark will open embassies in Nigeria, the Philippines, Colombia and Myanmar/Burma and a Trade Council in Lagos, Nigeria. Missions will be closed in Cyprus, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Milan (Trade Council) and in Libya.  New Danish Embassies will provide access to 300 million more people than at present.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Holger K. Nielsen stated:  "Global power balances are changing, and economic growth takes place in other places today and tomorrow than was the case yesterday."
And he added: "That is why we are opening new Embassies and strengthening our presence where we will benefit most from it - politically and economically."


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