The im­por­tance of Pres­i­dent Anas­tasi­ades’ visit to Egypt

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

We should go back to the 13th cen­tury B.C. in or­der to find the first ev­i­dence of the broth­erly re­la­tions be­tween Cyprus and Egypt, when the then Pharaoh, ac­cord­ing to the El Amarna ar­chives, sent a let­ter to the Cypriot King ad­dress­ing him as his brother. These broth­erly re­la­tions con­tin­ued un­til our days, pro­gres­sively cov­er­ing other Arab coun­tries. Makar­ios and Nasser be­came lead­ing fig­ures of the Non-Aligned Move­ment and sym­bols of a gen­uine and tra­di­tional friend­ship.

It is within this frame­work, there­fore, that we should place the in­vi­ta­tion to Pres­i­dent Anas­tasi­ades by the Egyp­tian govern­ment to at­tend the swear­ing-in cer­e­mony of the newly elected Pres­i­dent Ab­del Fat­tah Al-Sisi.

The in­vi­ta­tion as such, ad­dressed to a lim­ited number of coun­tries, con­sti­tutes an in­di­ca­tion of the up­graded re­la­tions be­tween Cyprus and Egypt and a ges­ture of hon­our to­wards Pres­i­dent Anas­tasi­ades, since he is the first Euro­pean head of state to visit Egypt, af­ter the 30th June 2013 rev­o­lu­tion. This mere fact projects the role Cyprus is ex­pected to play in the eastern Mediter­ranean, not only as a link be­tween the Euro­pean Union and the Arab world, but also as a key player in the en­ergy field in the con­di­tions cre­ated by the new geostrate­gic en­vi­ron­ment.

The re­cent visit of US VP Joe Bi­den tes­ti­fies to this new re­al­ity and con­firms the will to cre­ate the con­di­tions which will al­low the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Cyprus, Egypt, Is­rael and Le­banon not only on en­ergy mat­ters, but also on mat­ters of gen­eral se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity in the re­gion. Al­ready, a sim­i­lar co­op­er­a­tion has been agreed be­tween Cyprus, Greece and Egypt.

The land­slide elec­tion of Pres­i­dent Al-Sisi shows the con­fi­dence and trust of the Egyp­tian peo­ple in his per­son and marks the be­gin­ning of a new era char­ac­terised by op­ti­mism and na­tional pride. This will al­low Pres­i­dent Al-Sisi to re­gain for Egypt its lead­ing role within the Arab world in gen­eral and the re­gion of the eastern Mediter­ranean, in par­tic­u­lar. The in­vi­ta­tion, there­fore, to Pres­i­dent Anas­tasi­ades from a strong Egypt strength­ens his hand diplo­mat­i­cally in the re­la­tions of Cyprus with the other Arab states, the lead­ers of which he had the op­por­tu­nity to meet in Cairo and ex­change views with them.

More­over, by this pref­er­en­tial treat­ment of Pres­i­dent Anas­tasi­ades, a strong mes­sage is be­ing sent to Turkey, which sup­ported the over­thrown Pres­i­dent Mursi and the Mus­lim Brother­hood.

The con­clu­sion is one. Cyprus has gained a lot from the visit of Pres­i­dent Anas­tasi­ades to Egypt, as new hori­zons are opened for ac­tion, not only in the re­gion, but within the frame­work of the Euro­pean Union as well.

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