The eastern Mediterranean island has benefited from its reputation as a regional safe haven. ― AFP pic
CAIRO – 11 February 2021: A regional summit at level of foreign ministers of seven countries [Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Jordan] will convene on Thursday in Athena.
The summit will be held under the name "Friendship Forum." Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is now in Athens to participate in the meeting on conditions in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.
On the sidelines of the summit, Shoukry met with his Cypriot Nikos Christodoulides, discussing progress in terms of cooperation between the two countries and coordination on regional issues of mutual concern.
In a statement from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, Shoukry and Christodoulides affirmed the distinguished and strong bilateral ties in various fields, and the importance of continuing the ongoing coordination between Egypt and Cyprus, especially during the current regional developments.
“The two ministers also noted the importance of hastening the implementation of the projects agreed upon, whether on the bilateral level or in the framework of the tripartite cooperation mechanism with Greece, in accordance with the outcomes of the tripartite summit held in Nicosia in October 2020, thus contributing to further strengthening the existing relations of cooperation between the three countries in the various political and economic fields,” the statement read.
“Two ministers also expressed their satisfaction with the swift ratification by a large number of Member states of the founding charter of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, and the agreement on its entry into force starting March 2021. In this regard, Minister Shoukry expressed appreciation for the Cypriot stances in support of promoting relations between Egypt and the European Union in various fields,” the statement said.
In another meeting, the Egyptian Minister and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias discussed bilateral relations as well as a number of regional files of interest to both sides, in the framework of preparations for a meeting hosted by the Greek Foreign Minister tomorrow with the participation of Minister Shoukry and the Ministers of a number of Arab and European countries, according to another statement from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.
“The two ministers discussed means to bolster bilateral ties in line with what was agreed upon during the official visit of President al-Sisi to Greece in November 2020. They also addressed ways to support the flow of mutual investments between their two countries and to overcome any obstacles that Egyptian and Greek companies may encounter,” said Spokesperson for the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ahmed Hafez, in the statement.
“The meeting tackled promoting cooperation between Egypt and Greece in the field of energy. On his part, Minister Shoukry expressed Egypt's appreciation for Greece's ratification of the founding charter of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, which will enter into force starting March 2021,” the statement said.
Concerning regional files, Shoukry and Dendias expressed their appreciation for the continuous political consultation between the two countries at all levels to coordinate positions regarding the successive developments in the Eastern Mediterranean region, and tackled the prospected outcomes of tomorrow’s Ministerial meeting in Athens with the participation of a number of European and Arab countries. Shoukry also expressed his appreciation for the contribution of Greece and Minister Dendias in strengthening European relations with Egypt, and constantly emphasizing the importance of Egypt’s political weight, Hafez added.
“Two sides agreed at the end of the meeting to continue consultations and coordination in light of the rapid developments taking place in the region,” Hafez said.