By Apostolis Zoupaniotis
Cyprus, Greece, and Egypt have agreed on guidelines to continue and improve cooperation between them, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has said.
The agreement was struck during a New York meeting between the three countries’ foreign ministers.
Kasoulides said that beyond the political matters that will be examined “as we live in a volatile region of the Eastern Mediterranean, we will also examine issues of economic investment, tourism, and joint programmes that can be funded from the Euro Mediterranean partnership.”
Speaking after the meeting at the Egyptian Permanent Representation to the UN, Kasoulides added that talks will continue at ministry permanent secretary level, based on the agreed guidelines.
The three countries will also hold talks regarding their exclusive economic zones (EEZ), the foreign minister said.
Cyprus signed an EEZ delimitation agreement with Egypt in 2003 and framework (unitization) and confidentiality agreements in 2006, a move that enraged Turkey.
Kasoulides stressed that the agreement between Cyprus and Egypt was still in effect.
“Some circles, encouraged by Turkey, wanted to question the agreement but there is no such issue”, he added
Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos said the meeting send the message that we “are determined to promote this political cooperation, to organize it on a ministerial level, and to function within the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean region as three countries that are interested in stability, peace and development”.
Venizelos said the tripartite cooperation did not affect bilateral cooperation “but allows the three countries define their sea zones and make use of the possibilities granted by the international law of the sea in the Mediterranean and deal with energy, providing for development prospects for our peoples”.