Egypt, Greece, Cyprus cooperation targets regional peace, prosperity: FMs

Ahram Online , Saturday 13 Feb 2021

They called on the new government in Libya to consider 'void' the 2019 MoUs on maritime boundaries in the East Mediterranean signed by the former GNA and Turkey

Egypt, Greece and Cyprus
FMs Sameh Shoukry, Nikos Dendias, and Nikos Christodoulides

The foreign ministers of Egypt, Greece, and Egypt stressed in their meeting in Athens on Friday that cooperation between the three countries is meant to push peace, stability, and prosperity in the region.

"We, the foreign ministers of Greece, Cyprus and Egypt, agreed, through prior consultations and continued coordination, to forge ahead with political and economic cooperation and discussion of regional challenges."

"We send a clear message that our region has the capacities to become an oasis for peace, stability and prosperity," read the joint statement issued by the foreign ministers after they had met on the sidelines of the Philia Forum in the Greek capital.

Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus signed a tripartite political and economic cooperation mechanism agreement in Nicosia in October 2020. The three countries chose the Cypriot capital to serve as the headquarters of the secretariat of the tripartite mechanism effort starting the spring of 2021.

The foreign ministers welcomed in their statement the entry into force of the charter of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) on 1 March 2021.

The charter establishes the EMGF as a regional organisation, based in Cairo, and "open to all countries that share the same values, objectives, and willingness to cooperate for the security of the region and the welfare of its peoples."

Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus also welcomed the formation of a new interim government in Libya.

They called on the new government to consider "void" the 2019 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on maritime boundaries in the East Mediterranean, signed by the head of the former Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, Fayez Al-Sarraj, and Turkey.

Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus have vociferously opposed the MoUs, charging they were a violation of international maritime accords.

The statement welcomed the new Libyan unified interim executive authority whose members were chosen by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) in Geneva, describing it as “an important state” to ensure that fair and comprehensive elections be held on 24 December 2021.

The three countries stressed the importance of "effective implementation" of the ceasefire in Libya, respect of the UN arms embargo, and a full withdrawal of all foreign fighters and mercenaries.

Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus also reaffirmed their respect of the sovereignty of states on their maritime zones in the East Mediterranean in accordance with international laws, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, with the condemnation of any activities that violate the law.

The statement asserted the three countries' support of the efforts of the UN secretary-general to resume talks between Cyprus and North Cyprus under his auspices to reach a complete settlement based on a federation made of two regions in accordance with international laws and resolutions as well as Europeans values and principles.

Egypt , Greece and Cyprus

On the peace process in the Middle East, the foreign ministers said the two-state solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was an “indispensable demand" to achieve peace.

They stressed the need to preserve the nature and form of the Palestinian territories based on the 1967 borders, calling for the establishment of a viable, independent Palestinian state based on the 4 June 1967 borders, which would live in peace "side by side with Israel."

The foreign ministers also renewed their call to implement the UN Security Council’s resolutions that stipulate the need for complete and immediate halt of Israeli settlement activities, including those in East Jerusalem.

The three countries expressed their commitment to the independence, sovereignty and unity of Syria and their full support of a permanent political solution to the Syrian crisis in compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus stressed the necessity to force all foreign forces and mercenaries out of Syria, the statement added.

The ministers also discussed the recent economic challenges, agreeing that despite Covid-19 being an unprecedented challenge that imposes limitations to efforts, exchanged joint talks should be bolstered to achieve common interests in the fields of energy, innovation, digital economy, civil protection, and communication between nations. 

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