En­ergy, tourism, agri­cul­ture top agenda at Cairo tri­lat­eral sum­mit

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The Tri­lat­eral Sum­mit be­tween Cyprus, Egypt and Greece which con­cluded in Cairo has been de­scribed as an over­all suc­cess, with the lead­ers of the three coun­tries.

In re­marks at the end of the sum­mit, host Pres­i­dent Ab­del Fa­tah el Sisi said this co­op­er­a­tion re­flects on the sig­nif­i­cance of adopt­ing the tri­lat­eral mech­a­nism to be­come an ex­am­ple of co­op­er­a­tion and good neigh­bour­hood and a rea­son to main­tain sta­bil­ity and de­vel­op­ment in the Mediter­ranean.

Ac­cord­ing to a Cyprus News Agency re­port, he said the lead­ers de­cided to ac­cel­er­ate co­op­er­a­tion in var­i­ous fields such as en­ergy, tourism, agri­cul­ture and other sec­tors.

“The dis­cus­sions to­day dealt with speed­ing up co­op­er­a­tion in var­i­ous fields such as en­ergy, agri­cul­ture, tourism and pro­tec­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment in the Mediter­ranean with the aim to make new jobs”, Sisi said.

Dur­ing the dis­cus­sions, sup­port in Egypt’s re­la­tions with the EU were once again de­fined, Sisi added, in the light of what is hap­pen­ing in the re­gion.

On the Cyprus is­sue, Sisi said his coun­try sup­ports the re­uni­fi­ca­tion of Cyprus based on UN res­o­lu­tions for a fair and peaceful so­lu­tion.

He also said dis­cus­sions in­cluded de­vel­op­ments on the im­mi­grant cri­sis, the sit­u­a­tion in Syria and the Pales­tinian is­sue.

In his re­marks, Pres­i­dent Anas­tasi­ades said Tues­day’s sum­mit was a “com­plete suc­cess with re­gard to the pur­sued ob­jec­tives. In other words, the fur­ther deep­en­ing, con­sol­i­da­tion and broad­en­ing of the tri­lat­eral mech­a­nism through very spe­cific ac­tions, to be­come a model of con­struc­tive re­gional co­op­er­a­tion for the ben­e­fit of the peo­ple of the three coun­tries”.

The adop­tion of the Cairo Dec­la­ra­tion, Anas­tasi­ades said, “reaf­firms that the tri­lat­eral di­a­logue and co­op­er­a­tion pro­mote, above all, the im­ple­men­ta­tion of In­ter­na­tional Law and the en­hance­ment of se­cu­rity, peace sta­bil­ity and growth in the eastern Mediter­ranean”.

Cyprus, Egypt and Greece have to ad­dress com­mon chal­lenges and prob­lems, said the Pres­i­dent, and this co­op­er­a­tion in­tends to pro­vide an­swers to these is­sues, with­out work­ing against any third state.

Anas­tasi­ades added that the three coun­tries note that sig­nif­i­cant progress has been achieved with re­gard to co­op­er­a­tion within the frame­work of the tri­lat­eral mech­a­nism, and dis­cussed ad­di­tional ways of co­op­er­a­tion in the sec­tors of en­ergy, sea trans­port, tourism and agri­cul­ture.

The es­tab­lish­ment of the Com­mon Com­mit­tee on Co­op­er­a­tion that was de­cided dur­ing the pre­vi­ous meet­ing is al­ready i mple­ment­ing the ex­ist­ing co­op­er­a­tion and is trans­form­ing the goals that have been set into spe­cific projects. “To­day, we agreed to broaden the di­a­logue even more, at all lev­els, and to in­sti­tu­tion­alise fur­ther our co­op­er­a­tion in in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions”.

Pres­i­dent Anas­tasi­ades said “Cyprus and Greece have con­firmed that we will con­tinue to sup­port the strength­en­ing of the re­la­tions be­tween the Euro­pean Union and Egypt, es­pe­cially on is­sues that pro­mote peace and sta­bil­ity in our area, such as the fight against ter­ror­ism, se­cu­rity, sta­bil­ity and cri­sis man­age­ment as well as mi­grant flows”.

At the same time, they ex­changed views with re­gard to the lat­est de­vel­op­ments on re­gional is­sues such as the sit­u­a­tion in Syria, in Libya, in Ye­men, but also on the peace process in the Mid­dle East, and agreed that there must be co­or­di­nated ef­forts by the mod­er­ate pow­ers to ad­dress these re­gional chal­lenges.

He ex­pressed grat­i­tude for the “un­wa­ver­ing and con­sis­tent sup­port of Egypt in var­i­ous fora and par­tic­u­larly the Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Is­lamic Co­op­er­a­tion over all these years with re­gard to a just so­lu­tion to the Cyprus prob­lem. Egypt has al­ways been a friend and closely re­lated to our coun­try”.

“It was our com­mon un­der­stand­ing that the dis­cov­ery of sig­nif­i­cant re­serves of hy­dro­car­bons in the eastern Mediter­ranean, can and must func­tion as a cat­a­lyst for broader co­op­er­a­tion at a re­gional level, thereby con­tribut­ing to the wel­fare and the sta­bil­ity of the coun­tries of our area, while also of­fer­ing prospects for co­op­er­a­tion with Europe,” Anas­tasi­ades said. He said said the lead­ers also adopted two Joint Dec­la­ra­tions of In­ten­tions: the first one sets the foun­da­tions for close co­op­er­a­tion for the pro­tec­tion of mar­itime en­vi­ron­ment; and the sec­ond one, de­ter­mines, in gen­eral prin­ci­ples, the sec­tors for the ad­di­tional co­op­er­a­tion on is­sues of sea trans­port, ports and par­tially tourism.

The Cypriot Pres­i­dent as­sured both Sisi and Tsipras that he looks for­ward to the con­tin­u­a­tion and deep­en­ing of this co­op­er­a­tion for the ben­e­fit not only of our coun­tries, but also of the coun­tries of the area. “I look for­ward to our fifth joint meet­ing, which I will have the plea­sure and the hon­our to host in Ni­cosia”, he added.

The Greek Prime Min­is­ter re­it­er­ated that for Greece, the Tri­lat­eral Co­op­er­a­tion is a strate­gic choice to pro­mote se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity in this frag­ile re­gion.

“That is why for the coun­tries in the re­gion, that have com­mon aims, ie sta­bil­ity in the re­gion and the wel­fare of our peo­ple, we have to co­op­er­ate”, the Greek Premier said.

In the frame­work of mul­ti­fac­eted cri­sis in the re­gion, we un­der­lined the prin­ci­ple of good neigh­bour­hood as a foun­da­tion of co­op­er­a­tion, Tsipras said, adding that “re­spect of in­ter­na­tional law is a clear pre­con­di­tion to se­cure unity in our area”. He said they de­cided spe­cific ac­tions in an ef­fort to uti­lize “our geostratic po­si­tion of be­ing at the cross­roads of three con­ti­nents. In the field of en­ergy, they dis­cussed the pos­si­bil­ity of ex­pand­ing co­op­er­a­tion and the trans­port of nat­u­ral gas from the im­por­tant oil re­serves of Egypt and the Repub­lic of Cyprus to Europe and also de­lin­eat­ing our ex­clu­sive eco­nomic zones.

Re­gard­ing the Cyprus prob­lem, he said to reach peace and sta­bil­ity in the Mediter­ranean to­day, a just and vi­able so­lu­tion to the Cyprus is­sue is es­sen­tial. A so­lu­tion which is based on UN de­ci­sions, that will not in­clude main­tain­ing oc­cu­pa­tion troops in Cyprus, a so­lu­tion with­out anachro­nis­tic sys­tem of guar­an­tees and a so­lu­tion that will ben­e­fit the en­tirety of the peo­ple of Cyprus.

He also said that prior to the tri­lat­eral meet­ing, the three lead­ers planted three olive trees in the Pres­i­den­tial Palace grounds. “This, he said, was a sym­bolic ges­ture. These trees sym­bol­ise our com­mon com­mit­ment and our com­mon goals”, he added.

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