Energy, tourism, agriculture top agenda at Cairo trilateral summit
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.