Cyprus and Egypt have a bilateral strategic relationship that contributes positively to the security and stability of the Eastern Mediterranean, the foreign ministers of both countries said on Thursday, after a meeting they had in Nicosia.

Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos and Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry highlighted bilateral cooperation in the energy sector and reiterated the importance of providing more humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza.

Shoukry was visiting Nicosia where Kombos said their talks focused on energy cooperation. He underscored that the transportation of natural gas from Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone to Egypt for liquefaction remains a core option for the involved companies.

Establishing joint business council

Egypt’s foreign minister added that the two sides agreed to establish a joint business council as a follow-up to discussions held during President Nikos Christodoulides’ visit to Cairo last April.

He highlighted the importance of convening the second session of the High Governmental Commission in Cyprus in the near future.

Shoukry underlined that Egypt is looking forward to signing several agreements and MoUs serving the interests and benefits of both peoples.

Energy and migration

Kombos said Cyprus recognises Egypt’s “unique role” in the energy sector both within the region and beyond. The continuing cooperation between Egypt and Cyprus within the framework of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) is an integral component in their energy relations, Kombos underlined.

“Migration control, energy diversification and regional stability could not be taken for granted, and Egypt has been, and remains, a pillar of reason and reliability at a high and increasing cost, that needs to be fully and creatively addressed by the EU. This is the message that Cyprus has been delivering to Brussels, and we will continue to do so”, he stressed.

Cyprus’ foreign minister explained that he briefed Shoukry on the latest developments regarding the Cyprus problem where Egypt’s “long-standing principled stand is highly appreciated.”

Aid to Gaza

Both ministers also shared their concerns over the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, as well as the developments in the Red Sea with Houthi attacks.

Kombos reiterated Cyprus’ “dedicated one-way maritime corridor as one more way of providing additional aid to civilians that desperately need it. As an integral partner of the region, Cyprus has a moral duty to do its own part.

“Also, let me once again state the obvious. Cyprus rejects in the most absolute terms any displacement of a single Palestinian from Gaza,” the minister stressed.

Shoukry said that following the meeting with Christodoulides, he and Kombos also discussed the economic cooperation, human rights, legal migration and mutual support of international candidacies, among other issues of common interest.

He reiterated Egypt’s satisfaction with the progress of cooperation at the bilateral level as they work towards strengthening the cooperation with Cyprus in all sectors, especially in the energy sector, including gas, oil, electricity, trade and investment, agriculture and fisheries and renewable energy sectors.