12° Nicosia,
18 July, 2024
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Cyprus FM in Cairo to strengthen ties

Kombos aims to deepen bilateral cooperation and address regional challenges

Yiannis Ioannou

Yiannis Ioannou

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, Constantinos Kombos, is currently on an official working visit to Egypt. With an extensive agenda covering a range of bilateral and multilateral issues, Cairo and Nicosia aim to reaffirm their close cooperation, both bilaterally and across various fields, against the backdrop of the Eastern Mediterranean and the ongoing challenges, with the conflict in Gaza arguably being the most pressing.

Expanding cooperation

Mr. Kombos will engage in comprehensive discussions in Cairo with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, covering bilateral relations, regional developments, energy cooperation, and the Cyprus issue. The Republic of Cyprus seeks to deepen cooperation, particularly within trilateral schemes in the region, alongside bilateral efforts. Cooperation in the energy sector, crucially involving the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Egypt's terminal facilities in Idku, is a focal point. Mr. Kombos highlighted ongoing discussions on gas field exploitation, emphasizing the mutual benefits that such synergies could bring to the region's energy landscape. Egypt's pivotal role, demonstrated by its early maritime delimitation agreement with Cyprus in 2003 and recent diplomatic rapprochement, is of significance to Nicosia. Furthermore, Egypt's traditional mediation role in the Gaza conflict, including support for Cyprus's humanitarian aid corridor initiative ("Amalthea"), underscores the importance of Cairo's involvement.

Strategic significance

Mr. Kombos emphasized the strategic significance of the visit, highlighting the robust nature of bilateral relations. Amid regional and global challenges, he stressed the need for strengthened cooperation and coordinated efforts to advance mutual interests. He reaffirmed the commitment to deepen the Cyprus-Egypt strategic relationship through ongoing dialogue, joint initiatives, and strategic partnerships, with a particular nod to the trilateral cooperation involving Cyprus, Egypt, and Greece. This collaboration, he noted, not only enhances collective security and economic interests but also promotes regional stability and prosperity.

Addressing the Cyprus issue

The ongoing Cyprus issue, amid efforts to break the deadlock in talks, will also feature prominently in discussions between Kombos and Shoukry. Additionally, Mr. Kombos will hold extensive discussions with the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who has Egyptian origins. Cyprus has long sought to establish positive diplomatic ties within the Arab League, addressing issues related to the recognition of the "TRNC" and actions of the occupation regime, aiming for increased engagement within the League's framework.

[Translated and edited from its Greek original]

Cyprus  |  Egypt  |  diplomacy

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