Trilateral Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Hellenic Republic (New York, 27 September 2019) – Joint Statement
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Cristodoulides, of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Sameh Shoukry, and of the Hellenic Republic Nikos Dendias, held a trilateral meeting on the margins of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
The Ministers expressed their satisfaction over the progress already achieved in the framework of the trilateral cooperation and expressed their commitment to intensify it, in view of the upcoming trilateral Summit, to be held in Cairo on 8 October 2019.
The Ministers reaffirmed the commitment of their Governments to promote security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and the wider region, guided by the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of International law, including good neighborly relations, as well as respect of independence and territorial integrity of States.
In this regard, the Ministers underlined the importance of respect of sovereignty, as well as sovereign rights and jurisdiction of each State over its maritime zones in accordance with International Law, including the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The Ministers reviewed the progress achieved in existing fields of cooperation and on the implementation of projects and welcomed the expansion of cooperation to new areas.
Regarding especially common challenges and prospects in the energy field, the Ministers welcomed the establishment of the “East Mediterranean Gas Forum”, highlighting its potential to serve as catalyst for closer cooperation among Eastern Mediterranean countries in this field. The Ministers also acknowledged the importance of projects in contributing to the energy security of the three countries and of Europe.
The Ministers called on Turkey to contribute constructively and in concrete terms for the resumption of structured and result oriented negotiations for a comprehensive and sustainable settlement of the Cyprus problem on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. Such a solution must be compatible with the Republic of Cyprus’ capacity as an EU member state and fully safeguard its independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security.
The Ministers condemned Turkey’s unlawful actions in the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean, in particular the escalating, provocative and illegal drilling activities, seismic surveys and military presence in Cyprus’ maritime zones, which blatantly violate the International Law and the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus. In this regard, the Ministers also stressed that Turkey’s actions undermine the UN-led efforts for the resumption of negotiations for a viable, comprehensive Cyprus settlement and further destabilize the wider Eastern Mediterranean region.
The Ministers also discussed a number of regional issues of mutual concern, including the Middle East Peace Process, Syria and Libya. They agreed that enhanced and concerted regional cooperation is of paramount importance to tackle regional challenges, including terrorism and the refugee and migratory crisis. In this respect, they stressed the need to address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement.
The Ministers reaffirmed their willingness to continue their excellent cooperation in the context of International Organizations and especially within the UN system, by also supporting each other’s candidatures.
Further to the decision of the Heads of State and Governments to establish a Permanent Secretariat in Nicosia, they agreed to intensify and conclude discussions on the basis of the proposal presented by Cyprus.
Encouraged by the significant results of the trilateral cooperation, the Ministers expressed their determination to continue working closely on issues of mutual interest to the benefit of the peoples of their countries and of the wider region.