Cooperation between Cyprus, Greece and Egypt aims to safeguard peace and stability in the region on the basis of international law, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said during a trilateral summit in Nicosia Wednesday.
Though Anastasiades emphasized that the scheme was not directed against any third country, the trilateral summit’s three leaders took a strong stance against Turkey’s actions in the region.
Anastasiades also criticized a recent decision by Turkish Cypriot authorities to partially reopen the beach town of Varosha, a former resort area fenced off and abandoned in no-man’s land since Turkey’s 1974 invasion divided the Mediterranean island.
“Turkey is escalating tensions with a series of illegal actions,” Anastasiades said, while urging Ankara to respect United Nations’ resolutions on Cyprus.
Greek PM slams Turkey’s ‘imperial fantasies’
Speaking after a trilateral summit, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis slammed Turkey’s “imperial fantasies,” saying that Ankara’s aggressive actions have pitted the country against regional powers.
Mitsotakis accused Turkey of “entertaining imperial fantasies with aggressive actions stretching from Syria to Libya and from the Aegean to the Caucasus.”
Mitsotakis said that Turkey’s “successive unilateral provocations coupled with extreme rhetoric” were in violation of international law while also contradicting the positions of major powers such as the United States and Russia, as well as the Arab world.
He added that the maritime boundaries deal between Ankara and the Tripoli-based government, which Athens has denounced as illegal, “exacerbated the crisis in Libya.”
Greece-Egypt deal a guide for East Med problem-solving
During a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on the sidelines of the Greece-Cyprus-Egypt trilateral summit in Nicosia, Mitsotakis stressed the significance of Greece’s accord on maritime boundaries with Egypt, adding that the agreement is a good illustration of how other regional problems can be solved.
“This is how neighboring states resolve their differences; through dialogue, through mutual concessions when these are necessary so as to reach a mutually beneficial agreement,” Mitsotakis said “I want to believe that the deal is a guide for resolving other issues in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Mitsotakis added in a thinly-veiled reference to Greece’s problems with Turkey.
Mitsotakis expressed hope Tatar won’t derail Cyprus settlement prospects
The discussion between Mitsotakis and Anastasiades on the sidelines of the summit focused on Turkey’s activities in the region and the outcome of the recent elections in the north, where hardliner Ersin Tatar was chosen as the new Turkish Cypriot leader over Mustafa Akinci.
Mitsotakis expressed hope that the victory of Ersin Tatar, a supporter of a settlement in the form of separate administrations, will not halt efforts to reunite Cyprus on the basis of UN resolutions.
The Greek PM noted the significance of Wednesday’s trilateral, which is taking place against a backdrop of an intense climate in the eastern Mediterranean.
Mitsotakis also thanked Anastasiades for his support, hailing the value of their common efforts during the European Council’s last two meetings to effectively brief their EU partners on regional developments.
Anastasiades-Sisi: need to take stock of peace-bringing policies
During the tete-a-tete between Anastasiades and the President of Egypt Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ahead of the trilateral, the two leaders agreed on the need to take stock of policies that could consolidate a climate of regional peace.
"The Summit is taking place at a quite critical period for our neighborhood and it is extremely necessary to take stock of policies which can consolidate peace, even for those who seek to disrupt our relations or cause further trouble in the region," Anastasiades told Sisi.
Anastasiades also noted the importance of the fact that the Summit coincides with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as the year that marks 60 years of excellent diplomatic relations between the two countries.
"I want to assure you that our goal and purpose is to continue and further deepen our relations," the Cyprus President said.
The Egyptian President, speaking through an interpreter, thanked President Anastasiades for the warm welcome, acknowledging the fact that Egypt was one of the first countries to embark on diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cyprus.
Sisi reaffirmed Egypt’s willingness to further develop relations with Cyprus and Greece in various fields.
[Includes reporting by Kathimerini Greece]