Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides announced on Wednesday that Cyprus would host the first trilateral summit between the leaders of Cyprus, Greece and Lebanon later this year.
In his statements in Beirut, where he participated in the work of the first official tripartite ministerial meeting between the three countries, together with his counterparts from Lebanon, Gebran Bassil, and Greece, Georgios Katrougalos, Christodoulides said that it was the official start of the “trilateral journey”.
The cooperation of the three countries, he said, was based on a positive agenda and was not directed against any other country. He said the Cypriot side`s intention was to turn the tripartite mechanism into a productive framework of interaction between the three countries and their societies, which would be beneficial for their citizens, especially the younger generation.
He said he had briefed his Lebanese counterpart on the decision to establish in Nicosia, a permanent secretariat for tripartite meetings aimed at improving coordination to make the Eastern Mediterranean a region of peace, security and cooperation, despite the many challenges it faces today.
Christodoulides said Cyprus would continue to work and actively assist in further strengthening relations between the EU and Lebanon, adding that he was convinced that the EU must continue to show keen interest and activity in the region.
In a joint statement adopted in the framework of the meeting, the three ministers said they recognised the importance and value of the tripartite cooperation mechanism and reaffirmed their strong commitment to further expanding and deepening their countries` cooperation.
The statement also defined the initial priority areas for cooperation, namely tourism, higher education, culture, economy and trade.
Earlier in the day Christodoulides told a business forum in Beirut that strong economic ties were an indispensable component of strong political ties.
He also expressed his satisfaction that a large mission of Cypriot businessmen was accompanying him to Lebanon, adding that they had come from a wide variety of economic sectors, including, legal, financial and business services companies, real estate, development, hospitality and education.