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Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Egypt, Greece, Cyprus agree on combating escalation policies in East Med

A trilateral summit was held on Wednesday amid tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean region over Ankara's hunt for gas in the region in violation of the territorial waters of Greece and Cyprus, two close allies of Egypt

Ahram Online , Wednesday 21 Oct 2020
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Cypriot President Anastasiades, and Greek PM Mitsotakis during a trilateral summit between the three countries (Photo Courtesy of Presidency)

Egypt, Greece and Cyprus agreed on the necessity of “combating escalation policies aimed at shaking the region'sstability,” in an apparent reference to Turkey’s policies in the East Mediterranean.

At a press conference Wednesday in Nicosia following the eighth tripartite summit, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said the talks witnessed an exchange of viewpoints, mainly on the East Mediterranean amid “provocative policies posed by international law violations, threats of armed force, encroachment on sovereign rights of neighbouring countries and supporting terrorism and extremism.”

“We have agreed on the importance of addressing these escalation policies [threatening] the stability of the region, and coordinating with international partners to take measures to maintain the requirements of regional security,” El-Sisi said.

The eighth tripartite summit is held amid tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean region over Ankara's hunt for gas in the region in violation of the territorial waters of Greece and Cyprus, two close allies of Egypt.

Last week, Turkey said it will restart operations of a survey ship that it withdrew in September, further straining the possibility of talks.

The summit also aims at following up on the progress made by the previous seven trilateral summits and following up on joint projects implemented under the tripartite mechanism

Egypt’s president reiterated support of Cyprus' efforts aiming at a permanent and comprehensive settlement to the Cypriot dispute in line with the UN Security Council resolutions towards the reunification of the country.

El-Sisi said the talks also tackled the Libyan crisis, affirming that the comprehensive political solution was the only means to achieve stability in the country in accordance with agreements discussed during the Berlin Conference and Cairo Declaration on Libya.

The leaders stressed the importance of maintaining the unity of the Libyan territory and the necessity of an exit by all foreign forces, the dismantling of terrorist militias and their disarmament and the unification of Libyan institutions.

The summit also discussed the peace process in the Middle East, El-Sisi said, where they agreed on the importance of continued efforts towards a settlement to the Palestinian crisis on the basis of international accords.

The three leaders affirmed the necessity of ending the current stalemate and the resumption of peace talks between Palestine and Israel.

The Syrian crisis was also tackled during the summit. The three leaders condemned the “illegal military presence on Syrian territory and attempts to alter the population’s composition in northern Syrian regions.”

Prior to the summit, El-Sisi held separate meetings with his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to tackle mutual relations.

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