By Spiros Sideris – Cairo
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Cyprus Republic President Nicos Anastasiades and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi concluded a trilateral summit here on Saturday 8 November
In statements afterward, Samaras stressed that the meeting laid the foundations of a multiply significant strategic cooperation and a common front for geopolitical stability, energy security, fighting terrorism and economic growth.
Egypt – Greece – Cyprus Trilateral Summit Cairo Declaration
We, Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus, and Antonios Samaras, Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, cognizant of the immense challenges to the stability, security and prosperity of the Eastern Mediterranean and of the need for a concerted and collective response, have met in Cairo, Egypt, on November 8th, 2014, to effectively tackle these challenges to nurture our tripartite cooperation ever stronger for the years to come, building on the significant progress achieved so far.
We recall the strong historical ties and rich cultural common heritage that we share which is a result of two great human civilizations both with a unique universal legacy for all humanity. We share the conviction that this first Summit Meeting will pave the way to a new era of tripartite partnership promoting peace, stability, security and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean in all fields (political, economic, trade, culture, tourism).
We underline that the guiding principles of this 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 sovereign equality of States, independence and territorial integrity, peaceful resolution of international disputes, non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of States and refraining from threat or use of force. The current trilateral partnership can serve as a model for a broader regional dialogue, including through close coordination and cooperation in the framework of multilateral fora, as well as through efforts to further promote relations between the EU and the Arab world.
While we are aware of the vast potentials and opportunities for cooperation in our region and the Middle East, we recognize that the region faces complex challenges. Furthermore, the unresolved Arab-Israeli conflict remains the most serious threat to the region’s long-term security and stability. Exclusionist dogmas, xenophobia, extremism and sectarianism endanger the future of political transformation of many countries as they dismantle the social fabric and jeopardize the very notion of statehood. Terrorism and ideologically induced violence threaten regional and international peace and gravely undermine economic and social development. Environmental degradation constitutes yet another source of concern, as well as income inequality, unemployment and the lack of adequate economic growth.
We are determined to continue to support the Egyptian people’s quest for democracy and prosperity through the implementation of the road map, including the holding of the upcoming parliamentary elections that will mark the culmination of the democratization process, which already witnessed the adoption of a new Constitution, and the holding of presidential elections. We are resolved to make every effort to assist Egypt in its fight against terrorism being a bastion of resistance in this fight in the region.
We recognize that the discovery of important hydrocarbon reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean can serve as a catalyst for regional cooperation. We stress that this cooperation would be better served through the adherence by the countries of the region to well established principles of international Law. In this respect, we emphasize the universal character of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and decide to proceed expeditiously with our negotiations on the delimitation of our maritime zones, where this is not yet done.
We stressed the importance of the respect for the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Republic of Cyprus over its EEZ and called on Turkey to cease all seismic survey operations underway within the maritime zones of Cyprus and refrain from similar activity in the future.
We also call for a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Cyprus problem that will reunify the island in accordance with international law, including the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions. Such a settlement would not only benefit the people of Cyprus as a whole, but would also significantly contribute to the stability and peace in the region.
We 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 on the territories occupied since 4 June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital, and living in peace and security with all its neighbors; in accordance with the positions and initiatives taken by the European Union and the Arab League. Such a settlement remains the only guarantee to avoid the recurrence of innocent civilian deaths, destruction and heightening tension. Meanwhile, Egypt’s efforts to reach a durable ceasefire in Gaza are indispensable and highly commendable.
Terrorism threatens both the Middle East and Europe and aims to violently set up a reign of terror in the region that will have catastrophic global implications. We strongly condemn all terrorist actions and call upon all states to actively and effectively confront this existential menace, whether in Libya or any other part of the Eastern Mediterranean Region, and to step up cooperation on security matters with a view to defeating these groups and expose their major supporters.
While the efforts of the anti-ISIL international coalition currently focus on the situation in Iraq and Syria, and while we continue to support the efforts of the new Special Envoy for Syria and to encourage collective action under the United Nations auspices on the basis of Security Council Resolution 2174 and 2178, we are equally concerned about the situation in Libya, and we are determined to take appropriate measures to support the call for an immediate cessation of hostilities and engagement in an inclusive political dialogue and reconciliation process in Libya in accordance with the Libya Neighbouring Countries Initiative adopted in Cairo on August 25th, 2014.
We commit to mobilize all our capabilities in order to effectively promote our common interests and values. In this framework, we have established the tripartite consultation mechanism, which met today at the highest political level with a view to working towards unleashing the full potential of our region to the benefit of the peoples of our three countries and of the whole region.
Photo Spiros Sideris