The Third Trilateral Meeting of the House Committees on Foreign Affairs of the Parliaments of Cyprus, Greece and Israel took place yesterday in Athens.
According to a press release by the House of Representatives, the Cypriot delegation comprises President of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Yiorgos Lillikas, Deputy President Nicos Tornaritis, and member Yiorgos Loukaides.
The Greek side is represented by President of the Standing Committee on National Defense and Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Parliament Konstantinos Louzinas, Deputy President Demetris Emmanouilides, Secretary Maria Triantafyllou and members of the Committee Nikos Toskas, Yiorgos Koumoutsakos, Georgios Arvanitides, and Ioannis Kefaloyiannis.
On behalf of Israel the meeting is attended by President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Knesset Avi Dichter and members Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin, Aliza Lavie and Amir Ohana.
Speaking at the meeting, Cypriot MP Lillikas referred to the common challenges and risks that the three countries are faced with and denounced the Turkish threats and provocations in Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone and the Aegean Sea.
We expect, he said, that the three countries will remain firm in their common principles as regards the Turkish provocations.
Referring to the Cyprus issue, he pointed out that it is a problem of military invasion and continued occupation by Turkey and stressed the willingness and determination of the Greek Cypriot side to continue efforts to achieve a viable and functional solution within the UN, to ensure the independence of Cyprus without any occupation troops and anachronistic system of guarantees.
Cypriot MP Tornarites noted the significant progress achieved in the relations between Cyprus and Israel, which were further enhanced in the context of the tripartite cooperation.
On his part, Cypriot MP Loukaides expressed concern for the militarization of the region, in the light of the discovery of significant hydrocarbon reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Regarding the situation in the Middle East, Cypriot MPs stressed the importance of maintaining the recent ceasefire agreement in the Gaza Strip.
They also stressed the need to resume talks leading to a solution that would guarantee the security of Israel and an independent Palestinian state. They underlined Cyprus` readiness as well as the House of Representatives` willingness to contribute to the creation of the necessary conditions towards that goal.