Cyprus, Egypt and Greece have decided to proceed expeditiously with negotiations on the full delimitation of their maritime zones, recognizing that the discovery of important hydrocarbon reserves in the region can serve as a catalyst for regional cooperation.
This is stated in the Nicosia Declaration, adopted today in the capital of Cyprus by President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, and Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, Alexis Tsipras, in the framework of their 2nd Trilateral Summit.
In the Nicosia Declaration the three heads of state call for a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Cyprus problem that will reunify the island in accordance with international law.
“We call for a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Cyprus problem that will reunify the island in accordance with international law, including the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions. Such a settlement would not only benefit the people of Cyprus as a whole, but would also significantly contribute to the stability and peace in the region. We welcome the enhanced possibility for the resumption of negotiations and the implementation of confidence building measures”, it is stressed.
As regards natural gas and oil discoveries in the region, they state that they “recognize that the discovery of important hydrocarbon reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean can serve as a catalyst for regional cooperation”.
“We stress that this cooperation would be better served through the adherence by the countries of the region to well established principles of international Law. In this respect, we emphasize the universal character of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and decide to proceed expeditiously with our negotiations on the delimitation of our maritime zones, where it is not yet done”.
The three leaders note that the 2nd Trilateral Summit further strengthens “our well-established tripartite partnership promoting peace, stability, security and prosperity and cooperation in all fields in the Eastern Mediterranean (political, economic, trade, culture, tourism)”.
This framework, they point out, serves as a model for a broader regional dialogue, including through close coordination and cooperation in the framework of multilateral fora, as well as through efforts to further promote relations between the EU and the Arab world.
“This tripartite consultation mechanism, which meets regularly at various levels, aims at working towards unleashing the full potential of our region to the benefit of the peoples of our three countries and of the whole region”.
In addition, they strongly condemn all terrorist actions and call on all states to actively and effectively confront this menace and to step up cooperation on security matters with a view to countering extremist groups and exposing their political and financial supporters.
They have agreed to step up cooperation on counter-terrorism, defence/security and discussing relevant information to jointly combat against terrorism and violent extremism and to promote regional security, long-term stability and prosperity.
A reference is also made to the increase of the migratory fluxes which “constitutes a major challenge for our countries”.
“We agree to mobilize all efforts at our disposal to prevent further loss of life at sea and to tackle the root causes of the human tragedy that we are facing, in cooperation with the countries of origin and transit”.
The Declaration includes cooperation in tourism and the maritime industry.
“We agreed to continue working closely together with a view to facilitating and enhancing cooperation on common projects, with the involvement of state and private actors, including developing joint tourism packages and cruises, enhancing the maritime connection between the three countries for the transfer of both cargo and passengers and initiating cooperation on maritime education and training”.
With regard to Syria, they state that they continue to support the efforts of the United Nations for a new political process in Syria and to encourage collective action under the United Nations auspices on the basis of Security Council Resolution 2174 and 2178.
The three leaders express their grave concern “over the deterioration of the security situation in Libya and the growing terrorist threat therein also affecting security and stability in neighbouring countries”.
“Therefore, we strongly support the implementation of a counter-terrorist strategy in parallel to the political dialogue and reconciliation process and the implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions”, they add.
On the situation in Yemen, they express their strong support for the legitimate government of Yemen and for the preservation of its unity and territorial integrity.
UN-led efforts to resume inclusive negotiations without preconditions are the only way forward and we welcome the efforts by the Gulf Cooperation Council to complement UN initiatives, they stress.
Regarding the Middle East, they call for the realization of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace settlement in the Middle East based on the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, the establishment of a sovereign, viable and contiguous Palestinian state on the territories occupied since 4 June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital, and living in peace and security with all its neighbors, in accordance with the positions and initiatives taken by the European Union and the Arab League.
They also commend Egypt’s continuous efforts to reach a durable ceasefire in Gaza and to bring peace to the Middle East.