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Egypt, Cyprus, Greece talk cooperation, energy, terrorism and irregular migration

Ahram Online , Tuesday 21 Nov 2017
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Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi praised in a press conference on Tuesday talks held with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek President Alexis Tsipras in Nicosia to address several regional and trilateral issues.

El-Sisi also said that members of the Greek and Cypriot communities who used to live in Egypt but have since returned to their countries will be invited to visit their former places of residence in Egypt for one week in January.

The meeting also discussed cooperation between the three countries in energy and recycling, El-Sisi said.

The summit also addressed the issue of terrorism.

"Terrorism is still a danger that threatens the people of the region and humanity, and requires unified efforts by all countries, because the safety and security of citizens is a human right," El-Sisi said.

The three presidents also discussed irregular migration in terms of its economic, social and security angles.

The leaders also tackled Cyprus’ diplomatic troubles with Turkey, as well as the situation in Palestine, Libya and Syria.

Greek President Tsipras also praised the meeting, which he said comes amid many challenges and instability, which the three countries aim to combat through developing cooperation.

The Greek president referred to cooperation opportunities in transportation, tourism, energy, economy, defence and security.

Tsipras also said that two agreements have been signed between the three countries in tourism and protecting heritage.

The Greek president also said that Greece will open an olive farm in Egypt as a symbol of friendship, as well as a center for innovation in Cairo, with future branches to open in Lebanon and Cyprus.

Tsipras said that the talks also focused on gas and electricity, where a bridge as well as an electricity network will be constructed between the three countries, connecting Europe and Africa.

The Greek president asserted that the three countries have a unified vision in a number of issues, including respecting international law, supporting the establishing of a free Palestinian state, counterterrorism, irregular migration, and supporting the stability in Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.

Anastasiades said during the press conference that Egypt is a strategic partner for his country, and that Cyprus will keep on supporting Egypt in the international and the EU arena.

The Cypriot president also said that the meeting tackled consolidating peace in the region, and voiced his aspirations for further cooperation during the tripartite summit in 2018, which will be hosted by Greece.

Anastasiades also talked about his country’s diplomatic situation with Turkey, which he says has been putting up obstacles to negotiations.

Turkey has kept more than 35,000 troops in parts of Cyprus since invading the country in 1974 following a coup by supporters of union with Greece.

Negotiations between the two sides of the divided island of Cyprus for a reunification agreement between Turkish and Greek Cypriots have failed as Turkey refused to remove its troops.

El-Sisi and Anastasiades signed several MOUs on Monday in security, communication, medicine and business.

The Egyptian president arrived in Nicosia on Monday with a delegation including the ministers of foreign affairs, trade and industry, communication and petroleum. El-Sisi also addressed the Cypriot parliament.

This is the fifth tripartite summit between Egypt, Cyprus and Greece since 2014.

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