Cyprus Mail

Cyprus and Greece ‘exporters of stability’ in volatile region

President Nicos Anastasiades departs for Israel on Wednesday to take part in the sixth trilateral summit with the prime ministers of Greece and Israel that will also be attended by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Issues on the agenda include energy security and regional developments.

The summit will begin on Wednesday afternoon while on the sidelines Anastasiades will hold bilateral meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Pompeo.

Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides said on Tuesday following a meeting with his Greek counterpart Giorgos Katrougalos in Nicosia that the ad hoc participation of the US at the trilateral was proof of the importance of this main pillar of Cyprus and Greece’s foreign policy.

He said that very soon there will be more such ad hoc participations also from EU member states, adding that France has expressed interest in the trilateral with Egypt and that consultations are underway for setting a date for this meeting.

Another goal is trilateral cooperation with Gulf countries as there has been some interest, he said.
Christodoulides said he discussed with Katrougalos issues concerning the permanent secretariat for trilateral cooperation which is to be up and running by June 1.

He said they exchanged views as to how efforts would be made through this secretariat for setting the basis, if this is feasible, for these trilateral collaborations to evolve in the future to a regional security and cooperation mechanism.

The minister said that Cyprus and Greece do not build alliances against third parties. “We build alliances on the basis of positive approaches, which, among other things, at the end of the day, will yield benefits for the peoples of the region.”

He said that the cooperation mechanisms developed in the last few years by Greece and Cyprus with countries of the region have added value for everyone involved including the EU and the wider region of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.

“It is being acknowledged that we are not just pillars of democracy and stability, we are also exporters of stability within a triangle of instability,” Katrougalos said. The three corners of that triangle are the Eastern Mediterranean, Libya and Ukraine, he said.

Greece and Cyprus want to contribute to stability in the region, he said, adding that the presence of Pompeo is a confirmation of their new upgraded geostrategic role. It is also a guarantee that the management by Cyprus of the natural resources it is entitled to extract from its exclusive economic zone will be respected as per international law, he said.

Christodoulides will accompany Anastasiades to the summit, along with Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis and Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou.

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