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Egypt's Sisi says tripartite summit aims to take 'practical steps' to boost ties with Greece, Cyprus

Ayat Al Tawy , Wednesday 10 Oct 2018
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (C), Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades (R) and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi shake hands during a trilateral summit between Greece, Cyprus and Egypt, on the island of Crete, Greece October 10, 2018. REUTERS

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has said the Wednesday tripartite cooperation summit between Egypt, Greece and Cyprus aims to "take practical steps" to boost cooperation between the three countries.

El-Sisi, his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met on the Greek island of Crete for the sixth round of the summit, which was first held in Cairo in 2014.

Following the talks, ministers and officials from three countries signed a number of deals on customs cooperation, education, small-scale projects and entrepreneurship, and bolstering investment in Cyprus, Egyptian state news agency MENA said.

Egypt and Greece also inked a social insurance agreement on the sidelines of the gathering.

El-Sisi said in an address during a press conference following the talks that the strong ties between the three countries "will always represent an impregnable fortress in the face of escalating challenges" in the region, including mounting extremism and terrorism.

The leaders of the three countries also discussed key regional issues, including the Israel-Palestinian peace process.

"We have affirmed that there is no alternative to the restoration of all the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, on top of which is their right to establish their independent state...with East Jerusalem as its capital," El-Sisi said.

He added that they also urged a political solution to stem terrorism in Libya and guarantee the stability of Syria, namely in the rebel-held enclave of Idlib, while ensuring preventing terrorist groups from infiltrating into other countries in the region.

Earlier on Wednesday, El-Sisi held bilateral talks with Tsipras in which they discussed economic ties as well as cooperation in the tourism and energy sectors. He also discussed trade and economic relations with his Cypriot counterpart.

The most recent round of the tripartite summit was held in Nicosia, Cyprus in November last year.

El-Sisi's spokesman said on Tuesday that the summit aims to capitalise on the outcomes of the past five tripartite meetings, evaluate development in cooperation between the three states, and assess progress on ongoing projects as part of the tripartite cooperation mechanism.

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