Jordan, Greece and Cyprus agree to establish a Permanent Secretariat in Nicosia

The leaders of Jordan, Cyprus and Greece agreed on Sunday to establish a Permanent Secretariat in Nicosia, which will anchor and facilitate their trilateral cooperation in order to realize its full potential, to the benefit of their countries and peoples, and of the region.

A Declaration issued after the second Trilateral Summit among Jordan, Cyprus and Greece, that took place in Amman, also noted that in that respect, the leaders of the three countries which attended the Summit agreed to appoint a national coordinator in each country for their trilateral cooperation. Furthermore, they agreed to institutionalize high-level interagency discussions on foreign, defense and security policy in addition to launching a ministerial trilateral cooperation forum involving the ministers of finance and trade.

King of Jordan Abdullah II, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and the Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras agreed, according to the Declaration, to strengthen the trilateral cooperation between their countries in order to promote a partnership in various fields of common interest, and to work together towards promoting peace, stability, security and prosperity in the region, and have agreed to build on the outcomes of their first trilateral Summit, which took place in Nicosia on 16th January 2018.

“Since our first trilateral summit, significant progress has been achieved in various fields of cooperation. In the meantime, much potential remains untapped and it is important to focus our attention on such areas in order to maximize the return from our cooperation, to our joint benefit,” they noted.

Among others the three leaders stressed the importance for the respect of the sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction each State has over its maritime zones in accordance with international law.

They expressed the belief that the large gas discoveries in the offshore fields of the eastern Mediterranean will have a major impact on the energy sector and economic development in the region and can serve as a catalyst for regional stability and prosperity. Based on such discoveries, we welcome the holding of the first meeting of Ministers of energy which took place in Cairo on January 14, 2019, where the Ministers established the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), as a forum for all states in the region, to support the efforts of its members – both producers and consumers – to benefit from gas reserves and infrastructure in order to secure their energy needs, they noted.

Moreover they strongly reaffirmed their support for a comprehensive, just, negotiated and lasting settlement of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict based on the two- state solution and in accordance with international law, relevant UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative and emphasized the United Nations’ Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on the status of Jerusalem.

As regards the Cyprus problem they reaffirmed their steadfast support to the ongoing efforts for the resumption of the negotiating process, under the Good Offices Mission of the UN Secretary General, for a just, comprehensive and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem, in line with the relevant United Nations Resolutions, international law, and the principles upon which the European Union is founded.

“We stress the indispensable role of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) in ensuring peace and stability in line with the United Nations purposes and principles as enshrined in the UN Charter,” they said.

Moreover they commended the efforts of the President and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus to reach a solution that will reunify the island and safeguard Cyprus’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. We underline that a comprehensive settlement would not only benefit the people of Cyprus, but also significantly contribute to peace and stability of the region, they added.

The three leaders also noted that Jordan is at the frontline of the fight against terrorism and as such, expressed resolute support to Jordan’s efforts to counter this phenomenon in a holistic approach, particularly to the key platform that the King established through the Aqaba Process Initiative, which offers for collaborative exchanges, consolidating the global front against terrorism and preventing violent extremism.

In addition they expressed their commitment to the unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Syria and emphasized the need for a political solution to the conflict and in accordance with UNSC resolution 2254.

They also reaffirmed the responsibility of the international community to manage the refugee crisis on the basis of the principles of solidarity and equitable burden-sharing.

“We appreciate the role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for hosting over 1.3 million Syrians. We acknowledge the instrumental role of the EU in supporting Jordan to overcome the crisis, thus helping the achievement of stability and security in the region. We also underline the crucial role of Greece with regard to the reception and accommodation of the refugees and appreciate the humane treatment of the refugees in the country,” they said.

Cyprus’ efforts to provide reception and hosting to disproportionate number of refugees are also acknowledged. “We underline the importance of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation and highly value the role of the Union for the Mediterranean. Under joint EU-Jordan chairmanship, the UfM has gained traction in promoting the common interests of the countries of the region,” the leaders noted.

They also expressed their support to the new Government of Iraq and its endeavors to uphold the unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of the country. In that respect, we welcome the participation of the foreign minister of Iraq in the meeting of our foreign ministers today preceding this summit, and we positively note the decision of our foreign ministers to meet with the foreign minister of Iraq in Baghdad in the near future, they noted.

The three leaders said that they reviewed the progress achieved in the sectors endorsed at the first Trilateral Summit namely: renewable energy resources and energy efficiency, agriculture management of water resources, aquaculture, tourism, merchant shipping, health and the protection of antiquities. We express our commitment to intensify cooperation in such sectors, while exploring opportunities for cooperation in other fields of mutual interest, they stressed.

They also welcomed the signing of the trilateral Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Education for 2019-2022 and the signing of the trilateral Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between Jordan Investment Commission (JIC), Enterprise Greece S.A. and Invest Cyprus aiming at strengthening investment relations and improving the business and trade environment.

They welcomed the holding of the joint Business Forum in Jordan on the sidelines of this trilateral summit, noting that it ” will enable us to witness significant development and progress in various business sectors (tourism, energy, ICT), and provide a chance to discuss further means of expanding the existing economic and commercial relations between the three countries, and introduce Jordan as a hub for the private sector to access the Iraqi market.”

We shall encourage and develop the existing positive environment of economic cooperation between our countries with the aim of promoting trade exchanges and attract investment in various sectors, the three leaders said.

They noted that they shall facilitate the organization of trade missions, conferences, forums and exhibitions as a platform of interaction among the representatives of the private sector in their countries, to support the establishment of joint ventures capitalizing on the indispensable business opportunities provided by their economies, as well as foster the transfer of knowledge and exchange of expertise to enhance the competitiveness of their economies and ensure a better global integration.

They also agreed to explore the possibility of our cooperation to include their diaspora and expatriate communities, through the implementation of specific initiatives involving them, with particular emphasis on youth.

The three leaders agreed that the next trilateral Summit will be held in Greece in 2020.

Source: Cyprus News Agency