The seventh tripartite summit between Egypt, Cyprus and Greece took place in Egypt on October 8th, with President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi receiving Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to discuss means of combating terrorism, extremism, and illegal migration. Also on the agenda was building enhanced relations and communication in the interests of regional security and stability and to better serve their peoples' interests. This was in addition to boosting economic cooperation and political coordination between the three countries.
The summit tackled cooperation among the three countries in the field of energy, as well as the regional developments in the Middle East. The leaders also signed a joint agreement on banning double taxation so as to boost economic relations between the three countries.
After the summit, the three leaders issued a joint statement in which they expressed their deep concern over the deteriorating situation in Libya and stressed that a comprehensive political settlement is the only way to resolve this conflict and restore stability in the country. In this context, they reiterated their support for the efforts of Ghassan Salama, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Libya.
They also stressed the importance of UN initiatives submitted by Salama, foremost of which is Libya’s Plan of Action. They also expressed their commitment to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Libyan state, as they rejected all types of foreign interference in Libya’s domestic affairs. The three leaders condemned the export of weapons and military equipment to Libya, as well as the facilitating of the entrance of foreign fighters to Libya, thus clearly violating UN resolutions and UN Security Council resolutions 1970/2011 and 1973/2011, and 2441/2018.
Regarding Syria, the three parties confirmed their commitment to support the unity, sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the country. They support international efforts to radically and comprehensively resolve the conflict via political solutions as stipulated in the Security Council Resolution 2254 and the Geneva Declaration. In this regard, they reaffirmed their support for the UN Special Envoy, Geir Pedersen, and the necessity for immediate resumption of negotiations between different Syrian parties and the activation of the Constitutional Commission. They also expressed their grave concern about the situation in Idlib with the presence of thousands of terrorists receiving assistance from certain parties, thus posing a common threat to the Mediterranean region.
During the summit, the three leaders also condemned Turkey's planned military offensive into north-eastern Syria, after US President Donald Trump said earlier this week that the US would withdraw if Turkey attacked the Syrian Kurdish fighters, who have fought alongside Americans for years to end the Isis presence in the area.
Heads of State and Government expressed their deep concern in the joint statement over the illegal and unlawful military operation planned by Turkey in Syrian territory. They affirmed the need to work to preserve the unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian state. They also strongly condemned Turkish attempts to undermine the territorial integrity of Syria or to make any deliberate change in the Syrian demography.
Regarding the Palestinian cause, the three leaders called for a just, lasting and comprehensive political settlement that includes a two-state solution based on the relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions. This should take place by establishing a unified, viable and sovereign Palestinian State whose capital is in East Jerusalem.
The three leaders expressed their joint desire to enhance cooperation in the fields of natural gas exploration and transport through a number of relevant agreements. They emphasised that the discovery of hydrocarbon reserves would be a catalyst for stability and prosperity in the region.
Previously, the three leaders agreed to widen "strategic cooperation" on energy, including how to transport newly discovered gas in the region to Europe and linking the electricity grids of Europe and North Africa via an undersea cable. This 2,000-megawatt cable, known as the EuroAfrica Interconnector, will stretch nearly 1,000 miles from Greece to Egypt through Cyprus.
In this regard, they welcomed the announcement of the establishment of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, to be based in Cairo, as an important mechanism for coordinating gas policies and harmonising the energy sector with sustainable development. They consider this move central to achieving stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and have agreed to intensify consultations to upgrade the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum to the level of a regional organisation.
In this context, they welcomed the signing of the framework agreement between the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company and the Euro-African Interconnection Company on May 22nd, 2019, which aims to establish an electrical network between Egypt, Cyprus and Greece.
The three parties stressed the importance of preserving and protecting the cultural heritage of the Mediterranean and Middle East region. Accordingly, they agreed to further develop joint cooperation to accomplish welfare of their citizens abroad.