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Politics

Anastasiades: Cyprus, Greece, Egypt to Establish Permanent Cooperation Secretariat

October 22, 2020

NICOSIA — Cyprus Republic President Nicos Anastasiades welcomed a joint decision to establish a Nicosia-based secretariat of cooperation among Cyprus, Greece and Egypt, following their 8th trilateral meeting in Nicosia on Wednesday.

Anastasiades said the meeting included collaboration on issues related to energy, migratory flows, Turkish illegal behavior, and the relationship of Egypt with the EU, among others.

Concerning energy sector collaborations, the Cypriot state leader said the three partner countries welcomed the signing of the founding charter for the EastMed Gas Forum, established earlier this year with seven member states. They also agreed on forwarding the project of building the Euroafrica Interconnector electricity grid among the three countries, a project that will enhance energy security for Europe as well, he pointed out.

The three countries also discussed Turkey's recent provocative actions that threaten stability and security in the Eastern Mediterranean, Anastasiades underlined. The three countries strongly condemned Turkey for the following actions: its reopening of the Varosha coastal front in Famagusta, calling on the country to respect UN Security Council Resolutions; its illegal drilling and seismic surveys in maritime areas already delineated under International Law, including those between Cyprus and Egypt; the attempt to conduct illegal seismic surveys on Greece's continental shelf and its continuous infringements of Greek airspace and territorial waters; and the signing of legally void memoranda on maritime zones in the Mediterranean with the Tripoli government.

Anastasiades further said he has invited the newly elected leader of the Turkish Cypriot community for an informal meeting, which the latter has accepted. He added that on October 19 he also wrote to the UN Secretary General reiterating his readiness to participate in any new initiative by the organization.

The three countries are also "interested in is deepening relations between the EU and Egypt in a way that benefits both their interests and the interests of the EU in the Eastern Mediterranean," he added. Egypt is an important partner of the EU and a stabilizing factor in the region in important areas, such as security and stability, the fight against terrorism and also in the migration issue, Anastasiades concluded.

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