The Trilateral Summit between Cyprus, Greece and
In an interview with Cyprus News Agency ahead of the first Trilateral Summit this Tuesday in Nicosia, the ambassador points to the good understanding between King Abdullah II of Jordan, President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras on many issues. Amman, he said, maintains good relations with both countries for over half a century.
He also says that King Abdullah will arrive in the Cypriot capital accompanied by high-ranking officials, including Prime Minister Hani Mulki and several ministers of his Cabinet.
In the margins of the Summit, Cyprus and Jordan will sign four agreements on education, health, agriculture and energy. Moreover, all three countries are expected to sign three trilateral Memorandums of Understanding on maritime affairs and antiquities.
According to El-Fayez, these agreements are in the final stages, with the respective delegations working out the technical details. If all goes well, they will be signed on Tuesday by the authorised Jordanian Ministers and their counterparts, he said.
This is just the beginning as more agreements are in the pipeline, he said. Amman seeks “a comprehensive bilateral and trilateral relationship” with Cyprus and Greece.
On the bilateral agreement on energy, the ambassador said that this is a fairly new sector and both countries are exploring the potential for cooperation.
Political relations between all three countries are excellent, he said, while economic cooperation may lead to more stability in the region.
“Economy is the most important issue. Political relations are already there and they are excellent” El-Fayez said.
Jordan’s position over Cyprus “solid”
Ambassador El-Fayez said that his country maintains a steady foreign policy for the last 70 years. In relation to the Cyprus issue, he says that Amman’s position is “very solid and clear”. “We are always committed to Security Council resolutions concerning many issues in the world”, Cyprus being one of them, he said.
“We support strongly the position of Cyprus to implement the Security Council resolutions and are in favor of the reunification of Cyprus” that will allow people to live peacefully, as they did in the past, he adds.
On Amman’s relations with Brussels, EL-Fayez expressed appreciation over the role of Nicosia in conveying Jordan’s point of view to fellow EU members states. He referred to president Anastasiades’ statements on several occasions that Jordan should consider Cyprus its ambassador to the EU.
“We always need the support of our friends in the EU, and Cyprus and Greece are among them” he said.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Republic of Cyprus established bilateral relations in 1962 and Amman opened its Embassy in Cyprus in late 2016. El-Fayez notes that as of late, relations have enhanced dramatically between Cyprus and Jordan.
Following the official visit of Anastasiades to Amman, two years ago, Jordan decided to establish an embassy in Cyprus, in order “to show that we are very serious about enhancing our relations”, the ambassador said. He also refereed to the assistance provided by Anastasiades and his ministers ever since: “everyone is very helpful, this is why we managed to do a lot of work within a year”.
Most of the work so far concentrated in preparing the ground for political relations and to help the business community cooperate more closely, the ambassador said. He concedes however that more needs to be done in enhancing people-to-people contacts “which are no less important”.
Concerning business ties, the ambassador said that one of the first tasks after assuming his post was to work for the establishment of a Jordan-Cyprus Business Association. “We managed to do this early last year”, he said.
Even though bilateral trade has not yet delivered up to expectations, there is potential, he said.
Currently, he said, both sides are working for the organisation of a cultural week in each country, a “Cypriot week” in Jordan and a “Jordanian week” in Cyprus, to promote tourism and let the public know what each country has to offer.
A second direct flight connection between Larnaca and Amman has been approved but did not materialise yet, but the ambassador expressing hope that once established, competition will help lower the fares and increase tourism.
The two countries, as well as Greece, can work together in attracting tourist groups from places such as South America or Asia, offering joint trips to Jordan, Cyprus and Greece, he said. The idea for package deals is currently on the table and will hopefully be put into action soon, the ambassador said.