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Christodoulides reaffirms Cyprus-Egypt partnership

ΠτΔ – Διμερείς συναντήσεις ηγετών
Christodoulides welcomed to the palace in Cairo

Prior to his departure for Belgium on Wednesday, President Nikos Christodoulides has reiterated “Cyprus’ strong backing for the new enhanced strategic partnership between the EU and Egypt”.

In an interview with Egyptian news outlet Al-Ahram, Christodoulides stressed Cyprus’ commitment to honour the recently signed Strategic Partnership Agreement between Egypt and the EU.

“Cyprus and Egypt not only have excellent relations, but they are also strategic partners,” the President said.

“They have a close cooperative relationship and common objectives, striving to ensure security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean based on the principles of international law and sovereign equality. This relationship has been evolving since antiquity and is solidified in all aspects, both at an institutional and a popular level.”

Christodoulides mentioned ongoing discussions for new agreements and prospects for joint projects, particularly in the field of human resources, “where Egypt has much to offer due to its young and dynamic workforce”.

He noted that several bilateral and trilateral agreements are under discussion, aiming to be concluded at the next Cyprus-Egypt bilateral summit and the subsequent trilateral summit.

Christodoulides also touched upon the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), initiated by Egypt, which he described as a valuable tool for regional energy cooperation.

“The EMGF, founded as a result of an Egyptian initiative, is a valuable tool for regional energy cooperation among states that want to cooperate on equal terms based on mutual respect and adhering to international law with the common objective of seeing our people prosper and our region emerge as an energy hub,” he said.

Cyprus and Egypt signed an agreement in 2019 for the construction of a submarine pipeline to transport natural gas from Cyprus to Egypt using the latter’s existing infrastructure for liquefication and re-export. This option continues to have precedence as the preferred course of action, both politically and commercially.”

The President also highlighted the trilateral cooperation between Cyprus, Egypt, and Greece as reflecting a strategic alliance in pursuit of peace and stability in the region.

“This format has proven itself as an example of a mechanism that can further cooperate and bring regional partners closer. We hope to take stock of the strategic value of this tool and discuss how to utilise it further, in line with our shared objectives, at the next summit meeting, expected to take place in 2024.”

Christodoulides then reiterated “Egypt’s indispensability for Cyprus, both as a trilateral partner and within our region and the wider Middle East and Africa”.

We firmly believe that Egypt is a cornerstone of stability in an unstable part of the world, and the security of Cyprus and Egypt are closely intertwined,” he said.

Finally, the President also discussed the measures Cyprus is taking regarding the migration crisis, emphasising efforts to collectively reassess the situation in Syria, “based on current realities and the evaluation of the European Asylum Support Office”.

“During the last 11 months, we have been implementing a new approach to address the migration crisis. Our policy is based on four pillars, which include reducing arrivals, upgrading infrastructure, accelerating application procedures, and increasing returns.

However, I cannot but express our great concern as regards the unprecedently large migration flows arriving from Syria. Due to its geographical proximity to this country, Cyprus is exposed to disproportionately large numbers of illegal migrants arriving from the area,” Christodoulides said.

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