EU -Arab League Summit of “historic” importance, Cyprus President says

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has said that an EU � Arab League Summit, which concluded on Monday in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, is of historic importance.

In statements to the Egyptian media the Cypriot President said that it was one of the most historic moments in the relations between the EU and the Arab world, and expressed his satisfaction that Cyprus was able to contribute in order for this summit to be able to take place.

He further said relations between Cyprus and Egypt are at their best level ever. Replying to a question about trilateral cooperation mechanism in place between Cyprus, Greece and Egypt he said it promotes cooperation, stability and peace in the region.

We have not and do not exclude anyone from this cooperation, as long as they are based on UN principles and respect cooperating countries’ sovereignty, he added.

Addressing the Summit earlier, President Anastasiades spoke of the challenges faced in the region which call for collective and effective action.

He referred to Turkey’s occupation of Cyprus’ northern third as well as of the violation of Cyprus’ sovereign rights within its EEZ.

We are working hard against these illegal, anachronistic and destabilizing situations, he said, noting that we seek to end Turkish occupation and to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem.

On the sidelines of the summit the Cypriot President had bilateral meetings with, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, King Salman of Saudi Arabia and UK Prime Minister Teresa May.

President Anastasiades briefed all his interlocutors on his efforts for the resumption of Cyprus talks and thanked them for their support by maintaining principled positions on the Cyprus problem. He also underlined the particular importance Cyprus pays in further enhancing EU � Arab world relations and referred to the initiatives his government has undertaken which contributed to having the Summit take place.

During his meeting with Abbas, he reconfirmed that he will be visiting Cyprus soon, while Kuwait’s Emir invited President Anastasiades for a visit.

Anastasiades and May agreed to arrange a meeting during his upcoming visit in London in the beginning of March.

Bilateral cooperation and in particular in the field of energy as well as arranging a trilateral summit between Cyprus, Greece and Lebanon were discussed in the meeting with Lebanon’s Prime Minister.

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. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

Source: Cyprus News Agency