The co-operation between Cyprus, Greece, and Egypt aims to bring stability in a volatile area and to allow everyone to reap the benefits of the natural wealth, President Nicos Anastasiades said.
The effort “is to create conditions of co-operation between neighbouring countries in an area characterised by instability,” Anastasiades said in an interview with state broadcaster CyBC.
The three countries are working to forge closer ties in various areas, including energy, economy, and tourism.
A summit is scheduled to take place on November 8 in Cairo. It follows a meeting in Nicosia this week between the three countries’ foreign ministers.
Anastasiades said it was not limited to relations between the three countries, rather, it extended to other neighbours like Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and the Gulf states.
The president stressed that the endeavour was not directed at any country,
“We give this trilateral relation that is being built the greatest attention. I am certain that other neighbours will realize that the best way to utilise the wealth in the area is through co-operation and not confrontation,” Anastasiades said, in a clear reference to Turkey.
The neighbouring country has dispatched a research vessel to carry out seismic surveys inside Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, off the southern coast, where international companies are carrying out natural gas exploration.
The move prompted Anastasiades to pull out of reunification talks.
“If we achieve equal co-operation where the aim is for everyone to benefit from natural wealth, I do not see why Turkey should have a say in another country’s affairs,” he said.
It is welcome to have an interest, he added, because at the end of the day producers of natural gas would seek buyers.
So it is best to co-operate instead of working on how they can be leaders in a game where they have no place as regards production, the president said.
Turkey did not appear prepared to play by the rules.
A statement issued following a meeting of the country’s national security council, said Turkey was determined to take any measure necessary to protect its interests and rights within its continental shelf and as a guarantor power in the areas designated by the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state.