The Cyprus issue was the focus of a telephone conversation between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades on Monday morning.
It is understood that the two countries are seeking to coordinate their policy ahead of a planned informal meeting in Switzerland April 27-29, hosted by UN Chief Antonio Guterres.
In a written statement, government spokesperson Kyriacos Koushos said the long phone call between the two country leaders held at the initiative of the Greek Prime Minister featured an extensive briefing ahead of the informal meeting and the visit paid by Guterres’ special envoy Jane Holl Lute to Cyprus before leaving for contacts in Greece.
Koushos said Anastasiades and Mitsotakis exchanged views and agreed on joint actions that are to be taken in view of the European Council in Brussels on March 25.
Koushos also said that Anastasiades accepted the invitation extended by Mitsotakis to participate in celebrations to take place in Athens on March 24 and 25, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821.
Regarding recent reports on plans for redirecting the course of the EastMed pipeline in view of bypassing Greece, Koushos said neither side raised the issue of cancelling the construction of the project, and clarified that the bilateral talks with Egypt concern the possibility of building an additional pipeline for the supply of natural gas to Greece from Egypt.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Monday met with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry in Cairo to discuss bilateral relations, before departing for Cyprus for contacts with his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Christodoulides to discuss developments on the Cyprus Issue and the Eastern Mediterranean..
In a message on Twitter after his meeting with Shoukry, Dendias said the two also reviewed regional developments following the regional “Philia” (Friendship) forum that took place in Athens in February and “its positive impact on advancing regional stability and cooperation.” The meeting took place in the wake of Turkish claims of impending negotiations between Ankara and Cairo on delineating an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between the two states in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Diplomatic sources in Egypt have denied claims that Cairo and Ankara are engaged in talks over exclusive economic zone (EEZ) delineation in the Eastern Mediterranean.
According to the same sources, cited by the Arab News website, Egypt remains committed to Greece and Cyprus.
“The Egyptian side is sticking to its position rejecting the maritime agreement signed between the Libyan Government of National Accord and Ankara,” the sources said, according to the report.
“Egypt’s respect for the maritime borders of the Mediterranean countries is not new and Turkey’s attempts to claim that the two countries have negotiated is incorrect,” the sources said.
Last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu suggested Turkey had been invited to negotiate a maritime demarcation agreement with Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean.