Nicosia, April 29, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Kyriacos Kyriacou
With the adoption of the “Declaration of Nicosia” the leaders of Cyprus, Egypt and Greece agreed on Wednesday on further broadening and deepening the relations among their countries in a series of sectors, including economy, trade, tourism and energy, as well as the fight against terrorism in Eastern Mediterranean.
They also agreed that the three countries would proceed with further consultations on the delimitation of their maritime zones.
Speaking at a joint press conference with the Egyptian President and the Greek Prime Minister. Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, President Anastasiades stressed that the Declaration of Nicosia is a “point of reference” for the priorities of the three countries.
He noted that the tripartite dialogue and cooperation promoted peace, stability, security and cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean, a cooperation that included the fields of politics, economy, trade, tourism and energy.
Anastasiades said that the three leaders reaffirmed their common belief that the discovery of significant hydrocarbon reserves could be a catalyst for regional cooperation and contribute to regional stability.
“Furthermore, we stressed that this cooperation should be developed, through the respect by the countries of the region, of the principles of international law, in particular the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea”, he said.
The Cyprus issue was part of the agenda, the President said, adding that he briefed the two leaders on the latest developments and expressed his will and determination to work in cooperation with the new leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, hoping for Turkey to support the process to achieve a just, viable and functional solution of the Cyprus problem as soon as possible.
President Anastasiades expressed the gratitude of the Cypriot people and himself to the President of Egypt and the Prime Minister of Greece for the consistent and firm principled positions for a solution, based on the resolutions of the UN Security Council, the principles and values European Union and the joint declaration of February 11, 2014.
Regarding regional developments, he said they strongly condemned the threat of international terrorism and terrorist actions in Middle East, North Africa, the Sahel zone, sub-Saharan Africa, the Persian Gulf and Europe. Anastasiades said that they urged all countries to actively and effectively address that threat and to intensify cooperation on security issues with a view to countering extremist groups.
He further said that they expressed their particular concern about the deteriorating security situation in Libya and the growing terrorist threat in the country, which also affects the security and stability in neighboring countries, including Europe. They expressed their concern regarding developments in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, stressing the need on joint action by the international community in addressing the challenges that go beyond any national borders.
The three leaders call for the realization of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace settlement in the Middle East based on the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, the establishment of a sovereign, viable and contiguous Palestinian state.
Anastasiades also pointed out that the increase of the migratory fluxes constitutes a major challenge not only for the countries of the region but also for all European countries.
Egypt`s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, speaking through an interpreter, noted that his country is interested in the unity of the people of Cyprus, with all its communities, the sovereignty, independence and integrity of the country.
He said they discussed new fields of cooperation including the economy, energy, trade, tourism and maritime transport.
“We have agreed to upgrade the level of our cooperation in order for our countries to become a natural gateway to the strengthening of cooperation between Africa and Europe,” he said, emphasizing his sincere intention to promote relations among the three countries.
“We expect the formation of a bright future that will ensure the good life for our peoples in the context of tolerance, peace, stability, prosperity and social justice”, he said.
He also referred to the common will of the three countries to combat terrorism within the framework and with the international community so as to to stop the supply of extremist organizations with money and weapons. He deplored the atrocious crimes committed under the guise of religion.
Alexis Tsipras, the Greek Prime Minister, stressed that this trilateral cooperation was of great strategic importance as Greece, Cyprus and Egypt were pillars of stability and security in a destabilized region.
He stressed his position for a just solution of the Cyprus problem based on the principles of the UN and underlined that Greece supports the efforts for the talks to resume, adding that he hoped that they would lead to substantial progress. Tsipras said that Mustafa Akinci`s election to the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community was an interesting development, that Greece would follow “carefully and with hope”.
Tsipras announced that during his private meeting with President Sisi, they agreed to establish a new technical group on economy and trade between Greece and Egypt. The Greek Prime Minister said that both President Anastasiades and him were very interested in the participation of Greek and Cypriot companies in the ambitious project of reconstruction of the Egyptian economy
“We talked in particular for projects and synergies in the fields of energy, transport, shipping, tourism, “he said.
He also said that their cooperation was based on international law, the Law of the Sea and therefore they agreed to proceed with further consultations on the delimitation of their maritime zones, “where deemed necessary and where it does not require the consultation and cooperation with third countries “.
“I sincerely believe that our initiative will not only benefit all three countries, but will also be a start or a challenge for all Eastern Mediterranean countries for cooperation and delimitation of sea areas on the basis of international law”, he said.
He pointed out that Greece, Cyprus and Egypt were stability and security pillars in a widely destabilized region.
He added that the economic, trade and energy cooperation of the countries of Eastern Mediterranean, was a prerequisite for the prosperity, peace and stability in the wider Mediterranean region.
The Greek Prime Minister welcomed the results of the tripartite meeting and invited the leaders of Cyprus and Egypt to Athens for their third meeting, wishing to take place at a time when there would be more good news to discuss, more pleasant messages for stability, cooperation and peace in the eastern Mediterranean region.