A trilateral meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, Mr Ioannis Kasoulides, Greece, Mr Nikos Kotzias, and Palestine, Mr Riad Malki, was held today in New York, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
During the meeting, Minister Kasoulides referred to the close historical ties and the common values and concerns among the three countries.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Mr Kasoulides said that the trilateral cooperation of Cyprus, Greece and Palestine began today. He noted that it constitutes a cooperation, which “includes political issues and brings together three countries that aspire the same values as regards the efforts to address terrorism and asymmetrical threats; at the same time, it sets a positive agenda regarding cooperation on the fields of tourism, economy and environment.
At the same time, a trilateral meeting will be held in New York with Egypt, while on 11 October, a high level meeting will be held in Cairo. In December, a trilateral meeting will be held with Israel. Also, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Greece and Cyprus, and probably of other, are expected to jointly visit Lebanon”.
On his part, Greek Foreign Minister Kotzias stated that “a great cooperation began today. We discussed the cooperation among the three sides on issues of political interest and we decided that the political Directors (of the Foreign Ministries) should meet to prepare the next meeting of the Ministers in January 2017. The geostrategic situation in the region and new structures of security and stability are expected to be discussed, as well as the cooperation in sectors such as education, tourism and economy, which will be for the benefit of our peoples.
We also discussed the need to create a common strategy as regards the implementation of international laws and regulations, on which the foreign policy of the three sides is based”.
Replying to a relevant question, Mr Kotzias said that the Palestinian side is very pleased with this initiative. “this is an initiative quite unlike traditional bilateral forums and it is now joining tripartite setups that have a positive impact on the positions of every participating member “, he highlighted.
Invited to say whether Israel expressed any objections for the meeting with Palestine, Mr Kotzias said that “Israel was not asked about it nor do we consult with third parties, just like we did not consult with others when we had the trilateral meeting with Israel. As a general rule, and let it be reiterated, such trilateral setups are not to the detriment of anyone whatsoever; they have a positive, not a negative, agenda, aimed at facilitating economic and social growth and fostering political cooperation between and among all”.
After the meeting, a joint statement of the three countries was released (see attached).
Source: Press and Information Office