Bilateral relations, the trilateral cooperation with Greece, Ukraine and the Cyprus issue, were among the topics discussed between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus and Egypt in Cairo.
In statements after meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry, Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said that they had “an excellent opportunity to hold an in-depth discussion on the whole spectrum of our strategic partnership, and evaluate progress”.
Naturally, he added, a significant part of their discussion was devoted to the “prolific bilateral affairs, considering that as Foreign Ministers we are mandated by our esteemed Presidents to lead the preparations of the 2nd G2G that will take place in Cyprus this autumn.”
The meeting, hes said, “was another good opportunity for stocktaking also our Trilateral progress with Greece. I had the chance to elaborate on the appointment of the Secretary General of the Trilateral Secretariat in Cyprus; a development that, I trust, will help coordination in view of our 10th trilateral Summit to be hosted by Egypt in the second semester.”
Regarding the geographical area of both states, Kasoulides noted that they have evaluated recent developments on issues of regional importance and particular challenges in the context of the Eastern Mediterranean.
“I have also reiterated the importance of Egypt’s responsible and stabilizing role vis a vis Libya and its crucial contribution as regards all aspects of the Middle East Peace Process including on the situation in the Gaza Strip” he said. Regarding the Ethiopian Dam, an issue of existential importance to Egypt, as he put it, Kasoulides reiterated Cyprus’ full support in reaching a timely and legally binding solution.
Moreover, with the Egyptian Minister they exchanged views on the current state of affairs in EU-Egypt relations. Kasoulides stressed that Egypt is a strategic bulwark in the region and a critical partner, and Cyprus will continue to actively support maintaining a well – paced momentum in the EU – Egypt relations.
They also discussed the current situation in Ukraine “and its dramatic consequences from energy to food security, which are adding to the real – impact challenges in our region. This fact makes our cooperation all the more compelling.”
Kasoulides went on to say that “I’m pleased to note that the EU is acknowledging that the Eastern Mediterranean can play a significant role in providing an alternative energy corridor both for transferring natural gas, and cleaner energy sources, such as green hydrogen and renewable energy through an electricity interconnection. Egypt, also as a host of COP 27, cannot but be central in all options under consideration”.
He expressed belief that such synergies are crucial, adding that formats like the successful example of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), which Cyprus is presiding this year, are brilliant examples of rules – based regional multilateralism, based on shared strategic interests. Finally, he said he briefed his Egyptian counterpart on the Cyprus issue.
“Last but not least today’s meeting also provided me with a timely opportunity to brief Sameh on the latest developments on the Cyprus problem and to thank him for Egypt’s most valuable, continued and unwavering support” Kasoulides concluded.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results.
Source: Cyprus News Agency