Statement by H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi during the Joint Press Conference Following Egypt-Cyprus-Greece Trilateral Summit
Thursday، 22 October 2020 - 01:44 AM
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
His Excellency Mr. Nikos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus,
His Excellency Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to be with you in this friendly country. I would like to thank my friend President Anastasiades for the warm welcome and generous hospitality, as well as for the good management of the activities of our eighth meeting of the Trilateral Cooperation Summit among Egypt, Cyprus and Greece. It coincides this year with our celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of the beginning of the diplomatic relations between Egypt and Cyprus in 1960.
Today, I reaffirm that the trilateral cooperation mechanism, since its inception in 2014 in Cairo, is a strategic forum to exchange visions over means to develop and advance cooperation relations among our three countries on various political, military, economic and cultural levels. Moreover, it coordinates our stances towards regional and international priority issues, in a bid to maximize our mutual interests and to take advantage of the available opportunities. Thus, this would contribute to address the current challenges facing our national security.
This mechanism has contributed to agreement upon cooperation projects in the fields of agriculture, transportation, tourism, and energy. This arises out of our mutual interest to gain the utmost benefit of our state potentials and resources that qualify them to achieve its peoples’ aspirations for further luxury and prosperity.
Accordingly, our three countries along with our partners in the Eastern Mediterranean have signed the East Mediterranean Gas Forum Charter (EMGF) that does not only represent a model for encouraging the regional cooperation and preserving stability in the region, but also it is considered a framework to agree upon common determinants and projects in the gas field. This is achieved to apply the enormous wealth in the Eastern Mediterranean to realize the mutual benefits where each country retains its sovereign rights concerning this wealth.
From this standpoint, our trilateral cooperation mechanism has the particularity of presenting two successful models for delimiting maritime boundaries on basis of the rules of international law and the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Egypt has signed two agreements with Cyprus and Greece in this field; the matter which reflects the joint political will aiming at benefiting from available wealth, especially promising oil and gas reserves, and opening new horizons for more regional cooperation in the field of energy.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our meeting today has witnessed constructive discussions that reflected a consensus of visions on regional and international developments, notably in the Eastern Mediterranean region. This is done in light of the provocative policies of violations of the rules of international law, threats to use armed force, encroachment on the sovereign rights of neighboring countries, supporting extremism and terrorism, and the transfer of foreign fighters to conflict zones. We have agreed upon the necessity to overcome those escalation policies destabilizing the region. Additionally, we have coordinated appropriate measures with international partners to maintain regional security requirements.
In this context, we reaffirmed our support to the endeavors of the Republic of Cyprus aiming at a comprehensive and lasting settlement to the Cyprus question in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions, leading to the reunification of the two parts of the island once again.
Furthermore, we have tackled the developments in Libya and emphasized that the comprehensive political solution that corrects all imbalances in the Libyan crisis is the only way to achieve stability for this brotherly state, according to what has been agreed upon in Berlin Summit and Cairo Declaration in June 2020. Moreover, we have emphasized the importance of preserving the unity of the Libyan territories, the withdrawal of all foreign forces, the necessity of dismantling and disarmament of terrorist militias and the need of reuniting the state’s institutions.
Our talks embarked upon various aspects and developments of the peace process in the Middle East where we agreed on resuming efforts to settle the Palestinian case on basis of the international legitimacy’s resolutions. We have also addressed the importance of ending the current stalemate and resuming negotiations in the pursuit of this desired goal.
In addition, we reviewed the situation in Syria and pointed out that resuming the inter-party dialogue in accordance with the Security Council Resolution No. 2254 is the key reference to the political settlement. We have also condemned any illegal military presence on the Syrian territories or any pursuits to change the demographic composition in North Syria. Moreover, we reaffirmed supporting Syria’s unity and regional integrity.
On the other hand, we assure the importance of doubling international efforts to decisively counter terrorism and become intolerant with countries and entities supporting, financing and training terrorism. Moreover, we adopt a comprehensive approach to eradicate its roots and causes, as well as urging the international community to take responsibility for confronting the sponsors and supporters of terrorism offering peaceful shelters and all other forms of backing.
Moreover, the summit hailed the Egyptian efforts in the face of the phenomenon of illegal immigration and in hosting more than five million refugees having all the basic rights and services available for Egyptian citizens. Furthermore, Egypt ceased illegal coastal migration flows since 2016, relying on its own capabilities and driven by its moral responsibility. However, Egypt has not notably, at any stage, resorted to use this issue as a tool for negotiation or blackmailing its European partners to achieve material or political benefits.
In conclusion, I would like to express my appreciation to their Excellencies, the President of Cyprus and the Greek Prime Minister for such constructive talks, which took place within the framework of cordiality and frankness. I look forward to meeting you next year in the friendly Hellenic Republic.