Egypt – Greece – Cyprus Trilateral Summit, Cairo Joint Declaration

Egypt – Greece – Cyprus Trilateral Summit, Cairo Joint Declaration

Cairo, October 11, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and the Prime Minister of theHellenic Republic, Alexis Tsipras, having met in Cairo, 11th of October 2016, have agreed to strengthen the cooperation between the three countries in order to promote a trilateral partnership in different fields of common interests, and to work together towards promoting peace, stability, security and prosperity in the Mediterranean.

Given the fluid and unstable situation in the region, the three countries, which share common democratic values, principles, and interests, have, to this end, agreed on the importance of closer cooperation and highly coordinated set of policies.

The fourth round of Trilateral Summit between Cyprus, Egypt and Greece concluded in Cairo with this declaration in which the three countries agreed to work on the implementation of projects in the fields of energy, maritime transport, tourism and agriculture. The Heads of States appreciated the work done in these sectors and recognized that much more remains to be done to ensure that growth is experienced in their communities.

The Heads of States concurred that the guiding principles of the tripartite partnership are the respect for international law and for the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, including commitment to friendly relations, international peace and security, respect for sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of states.

The current trilateral partnership serves as a model for furthering the dialogue and promoting the relations between the EU countries and the countries of the region.

The Heads of States reviewed the relationship between the European Union and Egypt, highlighting the mutual benefit from various areas of cooperation between the two sides. In this regard, they re-iterated the vital importance of a strong and solid Egyptian-EU relation for peace and stability in both the Middle East and Europe. They agreed that a strategic partnership between Egypt and the EU is an essential framework for addressing pressing common challenges such as terrorism and extremist ideologies, migration, sustainable development, and achieving economic prosperity. The Heads of States re-affirmed their commitment to working closely together towards developing various aspects of the Egyptian-EU partnership further, on the basis of the principles of mutual respect, joint ownership, common interests and reciprocal commitments.

They deplored the recent attacks on the cultural heritage of the Middle East and the organized looting and illicit trafficking in cultural items. In the same vein, the Heads of States called for further steps to prevent and prohibit the illicit trade in cultural properties from the Middle East, and encourage UNESCO’s efforts to help put in place a ban and support the restoration of these properties. The Heads of States affirmed their support for the candidature of H.E Moushira Khattab to the post of UNESCO Director General in the upcoming elections scheduled on October 2017, taking into account her distinguished profile and concrete achievements in the areas which fall within UNESCO mandate.

They agreed that the current plight of thousands of migrants putting their lives in peril should be addressed regionally and comprehensively. Firstly, by reducing the incentives for irregular migration in collaboration with the EU commission through a balanced and holistic approach, that will focus on investing in development and poverty eradication, especially by boosting socio-economic growth and creating opportunities, and also by investigating, disrupting and prosecuting smugglers networks and building stronger partnerships between northern and southern Mediterranean countries, setting initiatives in North Africa to help the region become stronger in search and rescue activities, and also taking immediate action to prevent further losses of migrants’ lives and reviewing the possibilities of safe and legal resettlement of people.

Following the same line, they affirmed the substantiality of moving ahead as soon as possible on the protection of environment recognizing the complex nature of environmental problems given the possible impact of trans-boundary projects. They agreed to promote cooperation towards readiness to respond to pollution caused by coastal research and the extraction of hydrocarbons and/or oil pollution. They also agreed to work towards protecting the environment and achieving sustainable development, and discussed the decontamination of the Mediterranean from domestic and industrial pollution and the marine impact of climate change.

On regional issues, the Heads of States expressed their grave concern over the escalation of violence and the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria, especially in Aleppo, calling all parties in Syria to fulfill their commitments to restore the cessation of hostilities and to allow the full access of humanitarian assistance to all besieged and hard-to-reach areas. To this end, we call for the immediate and full implementation of the 9th September 2016 agreement between the United States and the Russian Federation, and we also continue to support the efforts of UN Special Envoy Stefan De Mistura aiming at the resumption of the negotiations to end the conflict through a political transition based on the UN security council resolution 2254 (2015) and the 2012 Geneva Communiqué, that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.

On Libya, the Heads of States expressed their support for efforts undertaken by the UNSG special representative Martin Kobler to facilitate a Libyan-led political solution and underlined the importance of implementing the Libyan political Agreement of skhirat.

They also commended Egypt’s ongoing efforts to resolve differences and build confidence between the Libyan parties, encouraging them to work constructively towards the full implementation of the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) of Skhirat. They reaffirmed their position supporting the preservation of the legitimate Libyan state institutions as well as the implementation of a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy.

Regarding Yemen, they expressed their strong support for the legitimate Government of Yemen and President Hadi, and for the preservation of its unity and territorial integrity.

On the Palestinian issue, they called for a just and comprehensive peace settlement based on the relevant UN resolutions, establishing a sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, living in peace with all its neighbors. They expressed their concern about the current trends on the ground. They welcome efforts by all regional and international parties and commended Egypt’s role in this respect.

They stressed the importance of the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation for the countries of the region and underlined the significant role the Union for the Mediterranean can play to this end.

The Heads of States expressed their desire to strengthen their cooperation through a series of agreements on the exploitation and transfer of natural gas, where the discovery of hydrocarbon reserves would serve as a catalyst for regional stability and prosperity. They stressed that this cooperation is founded upon inveterate principles of international law and the universal charter of the UN convention of the Law of Seas and reiterated their willingness to continue their negotiations on the delimitations of maritime zones, where appropriate.

They reaffirmed their unwavering support to the ongoing negotiations for a solution for the Cyprus problem that will reunify the island in accordance with international law and the relevant UNSC resolutions. They highlighted that the solution of the Cyprus problem must address the concerns and aspirations of the Cypriots themselves without anachronistic and obsolete security arrangements, such as guarantees with the right of military intervention without the explicit approval of the UNSC.

The Heads of States encouraged by the positive results thus far and convinced with the strategic importance of the trilateral cooperation will continue to work closely on issues of mutual interests beneficent for their countries and the wider region.