Fri, 12 Feb 2021 - 04:06 GMT
The foreign ministers of Greece, Cyprus and Egypt meet in Athens - Egyptian Foreign Ministry
CAIRO – 12 February 2021: In a joint statement on Friday, the tripartite of Egypt, Greece and Cyprus urged respect of the UN arms embargo and full withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from the country.
This comes a day after the Philia Forum between the foreign ministers of Greece, Cyprus, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE in Athens.
“We underlined the need for effective implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement, respect of the UN arms embargo and full withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from the country,” the joint statement read.
The three countries also hailed the recent formation of a transitional executive authority in Libya as “important milestone in the political process.”
The full statement comes as follows:
We the Ministers of Cyprus, Egypt and Greece, building upon prior consultations and regular coordination, met in Athens on February 11, 2021, to continue dialogue and cooperation in order to further reinforce our political and economic engagement, discuss regional challenges send a clear and positive message that our region has the potential to be transformed into an area of peace, stability and prosperity.
We concluded that the outcome of this scheme of cooperation serves the common interest of our countries for promoting prosperity in the region, having laid the foundation of a positive agenda and we expressed our commitment to intensify coordination aiming at exploring common opportunities for cooperation.
We welcome the advanced preparations in setting up the Secretariat for the Trilateral Mechanisms based in Nicosia, which will be operational in early spring 2021.
We further welcome the entry into force of the Statute of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) on 1 March 2021 establishing the EMGF as a regional organization, based in Cairo, open to all countries that share the same values and objectives and willingness to cooperate for the security of the whole region and the welfare of its peoples.
We agreed that, though Covid-19 is an unprecedented challenge, posing limitations to our efforts, result-oriented exchanges, initiatives and joint actions in the fields of energy, innovation, digital economy, civil protection and people to people contacts should be further enhanced.
We reiterated our strong commitment to International Law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the UN Charter and the principles enshrined therein as the foundation of peace, security, good neighbourly relations and peaceful resolution of disputes for all countries in the region.
On the Cyprus question, we expressed our support towards the efforts of the United Nations Secretary General aimed at the resumption of a result-oriented negotiation process under his auspices that will lead to a comprehensive settlement on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, in accordance with International Law and relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, in line with the European acquis.
We emphasized also the importance for the respect of the sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction each State has over its maritime zones in accordance with International Law, denouncing all activities that violate International Law.
We urged for the full and consistent respect of the sovereignty and the sovereign rights of States in their maritime zones in the Eastern Mediterranean in accordance with the International Law, including UNCLOS.
With regard to the Middle East Peace Process, we emphasize that the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state solution is an indispensable requirement to comprehensive peace and stability in the region, as well as the importance of ensuring an independent and viable Palestinian state based on the June 4, 1967 lines, living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel. We stress the importance of preserving the composition, character and status of the Palestinian territories, occupied in 1967 including East Jerusalem, and we reiterate the call for the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions to immediately and completely cease all settlement activities including in East Jerusalem.
We welcomed the agreement by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) on a transitional unified executive authority for Libya, recognizing it as an important milestone in the political process and a significant step toward ensuring credible and all-inclusive elections to be held December 24th, 2021 and that the transitional government and agreement shall cease to have effect subsequently. In the same vein, we underlined the need for effective implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement, respect of the UN arms embargo and full withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from the country. We emphasize the importance of fully implementing the outcomes of the Joint Military Committee 5+5 and particularly the departure of all foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libyan territories. Firmly supporting a Libyan led and owned political solution to the crisis, we consider any foreign intervention as unacceptable and all agreements concluded in violation of International Law as null and void and in particular call on the new Libyan Government to consider the MOUs signed by Turkey and Faysal al-Sarraj in November 2019 as such.
We reaffirmed our commitment to the unity, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, expressing our unrelenting support for a lasting political settlement of the Syrian crisis. In full accordance with UNSC Resolutions 2254 and reiterated the imperative need for the withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from the country.
We examined the possibilities for further cooperation in all fields, affirming that priority should be given to the regional cooperation and comprehensive developments, highly facilitated by the current format.