19 February 2020 06:56 PM

Xinhua: Crete summit signals formation of regional cooperation bloc

Thursday، 11 October 2018 - 02:44 PM

The Chinese news agency Xhinua said the decision of the Egypt-Greece-Cyprus summit to establish a permanent secretariat in Nicosia’s plans to establish an institutional regional entity that would allow more states to join.

The secretariat will be in charge of following up the implementation of the decisions taken during the summit, Xinhua's Arabic website said in a feature on Thursday.

In statements to Xinhua, Saeed Lawendy - an international relations expert at Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies - said the three states seek to establish a permanent entity which is not restricted to the three states.

 He expounded that this would be a prelude to larger international cooperation.

The trilateral summit forms the basis for a regional coalition that would serve common interests and promote cooperation in various domains, including energy, he said.

He referred to an agreement reached by the three leaders to set up an Eastern Mediterranean gas bloc in Cairo that will group states which produce and import gas in Eastern Mediterranean as well as countries through which gas pipelines cross.

The gathering is meant to coordinate natural gas policies for the best interests of states in the region, he said.

Meanwhile, Tareq Fahmy - a political science professor at Cairo University - told Xinhua that the summit sent a direct message to regional players as well as those undermining the Eastern Mediterranean security.

He cited the three leaders' press conference which highlighted their stances vis-a-vis several issues, including unifying the Cypriot island, countering terrorism as well as the conditions in Syria and Libya.

Fahmy considered the formation a permanent secretariat for the three states as a major development that heralds the establishment of a regional cooperation organization.

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