Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Cypriot foreign minister Nikos Christodoulides have agreed to bolster energy cooperation as well as economic and trade ties during talks in Cairo on Wednesday, Egyptian and Cypriot officials have said.
El-Sisi highlighted Cairo's "keenness to bolster ties with Cyprus in all fields and praised ongoing tripartite cooperation with Greece, namely in energy in the Eastern Mediterranean," Egypt's presidency spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement.
Egypt, Greece and Cyprus aim to turn the Eastern Mediterranean region into an offshore natural gas hub, especially after Egypt’s 2015 discovery of Zohr, the biggest offshore gas field in the Mediterranean.
The three countries have been holding regular cooperation summits in Nicosia, Athens and Cairo since November 2014, with the fifth such gathering held in Nicosia in November 2017.
Christodoulides is the first European minister to meet with El-Sisi since the Egyptian president’s re-election for a second term earlier this month.
Christodoulides and El-Sisi discussed their "strategic vision, energy, trade, tourism and their strong political will to further strengthen bilateral and trilateral cooperation," the Cypriot foreign ministry said on its official Twitter page.
Earlier on Wednesday, Christodoulides met with Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail. The two officials discussed "the extensive spectrum of bilateral ties and common strategic understanding on crucial regional developments," the Cypriot ministry said.
Christodoulides arrived in Cairo on Tuesday and met with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry, where they discussed Egypt's domestic affairs following last month's presidential vote as well as Egyptian-European ties.
El-Sisi visited Cyprus in November 2017, the first such visit by an Egyptian president to the Eastern Mediterranean island country.