At the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea lies the beautiful island of Cyprus. It is an island rich in culture, proudly boasting over 9,000 years of history.

It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily and Sardinia and covers an area of approximately 9,250 square kilometres. Cyprus is situated in a prominent location and is the stepping stone between the three continents of Europe, Asia and Africa.

From as early as 2500 BC during the Bronze Age, Cyprus became the trading centre for where the East meets the West. Throughout these early years, the island developed a connection of all cultures, culminating in a growth so spectacular that Cyprus dominated the Mediterranean area. The historical importance and the position of Cyprus outweigh its small size.  
The abundant natural wealth of Cyprus along with its dominant position created an attraction for many of history’s conquerors. These included the Phoenicians, Assyrians, Franks, Venetians, Ottomans, British and many others, who throughout history all stamped their mark on the island with untold disasters and human tragedies. However, Cyprus has continually managed to retain its Greek identity. Roman theatres and villas, Byzantine churches and monasteries, castles of the Crusaders and Medieval castles, Ottoman mosques and prehistoric settlements are all testament to the fact that Cyprus experienced many races of people trying their utmost to conquer and gain control of the island.
Nicosia, located in the east of the geographic centre of the island, is the capital of Cyprus and has a population ofapproximately 330,000. The second largest city, Limassol, is situated in the south-west and has a population of around 240,000 inhabitants. Limassol is the principal seaport in Cyprus and is an established player in the shipping industry. It is also a thriving industrial centre and a popular location for tourists. Larnaca, the third largest city has a population in the region of 195,000 and includes the region of Ammochostos, also known as Farmagusta. Located in the south, Larnaca boasts the main international airport, an International Free Trade Zone and a rapidly growing tourism industry. The smallest city on the west coast of Cyprus is Paphos. With a population of about 92,000 inhabitants and a very strong tourist industry, Paphos is the location for the second international airport.

Cyprus has a presidential system of government, in which the President of Cyprus is elected in a secret ballot by the population for a term of five years. The House of Representatives is the legislative body and consists of 56 elected members, who also serve a five-year term. The legal system is based on English and EU law. Cyprus is a member of the United Nations, the European Union and the Eurozone, the Commonwealth and the Council of Europe. 

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