In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Your Excellency, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece,
Your Excellency, Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to be here today in the friendly Greek Republic, whose leadership I am pleased to thank for the warm reception and hospitality, as well as for the good management of the activities of this ninth meeting of the Tripartite Cooperation Mechanism among Egypt, Greece and Cyprus.
It is no secret to you that the Tripartite Cooperation Mechanism has become a very important forum for exchanging visions on means to achieve further development in the cooperation relations between our countries and peoples on the political, economic and cultural levels, as well as the military and security ones. This is in addition to consulting on various issues of common interest, in a way that contributes to coordinating the efforts of the three countries to face the major challenges witnessed by our regional neighborhood or the international arena as a whole. Perhaps the most recent example is the positive cooperation that is currently in place between our countries to confront the “Corona” Pandemic, with the unprecedented threat that it poses to the health of our societies and the efforts they exert to achieve development and improve their standard of living.
From this standpoint, we are committed to work on implementing, and even on intensifying the projects emanating from the Tripartite Cooperation Mechanism in all fields, especially the promising energy sector.
Here, I cannot but commend the qualitative development, which is represented in signing today an important tripartite agreement in the field of electrical interconnection, in continuation of what has taken place a few days ago, in the conclusion of two agreements to connect the electrical grid in Egypt with Greece and Cyprus at the bilateral level; the matter which is considered a preliminary step that brings us closer to the common goal that our three countries aspire to, which is the future electrical connection with the rest of the European continent.
It is perhaps particularly important for us to work together to build on such momentum to find a parallel one regarding our endeavor to establish an offshore pipeline to transport natural gas from the Cyprus “Aphrodite” field to the two Egyptian Liquefaction Plants at Damietta and Edco. This is done in order to supply Greece with the liquefied gas, and then from there to many East Mediterranean countries, and possibly to West Balkan and Middle European countries. This is consistent with the great ambitions that were born with establishing the East Mediterranean Gas Forum, being an entity relied on in proper planning for regional cooperation projects, and in maximizing the benefits of the Forum’s member states and peoples of the region in general from the Mediterranean’s natural gas reserves and hydrocarbon wealth, in a way that is consistent with rules of related International law and respects states’ sovereignty on their territories and resources.
Furthermore, today’s meeting provided an excellent opportunity to discuss regional and international developments, particularly in the East Mediterranean.
In this regard, we reiterate our support for Cyprus and all related international parties in their endeavors to find a comprehensive and just solution to the Cyprus issue based on relevant international legitimacy and Security Council resolutions.
Furthermore, we discussed the latest developments in Libya and agreed on the importance of holding the planned elections in December 2021 in accordance with the road map agreed upon by our Libyan brothers. Furthermore, we agreed upon the inevitability of the departure of all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya pursuing to relevant international resolutions, and thus Libya restores its sovereignty and unity, preserves its territorial integrity, and consolidate its decision in the hands of its sons.
Furthermore, we discussed the developments of the Palestinian cause; it is no secret that it is the core and crux of the Middle East conflict, as evidenced by the most recent escalation between Israelis and Palestinians last May. That escalation that we were keen to contain and stop, arising out of Egypt’s fate and historic responsibility in pushing for a comprehensive and just solution for this conflict based on the two-State solution, and empowering the Palestinian people to establish their independent state according to the borders of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
On the other hand, we discussed the Syrian crisis issue as we renewed our support for the efforts of the UN envoy to reach a peaceful settlement on the basis of the relevant Security Council resolutions. In this respect, our meeting today is an appropriate opportunity to reaffirm the consistency of the three countries’ positions in terms of the necessity to preserve the Syrian territorial integrity and its regional safety, reject the attempts of some regional parties to impose a fait accompli by violating the Syrian sovereignty, and attempting to make forced demographic changes in some areas of the country.
We also stressed the importance of countering the threat caused by terrorist organizations in order for the Syrian people to restore their security and stability.
We also expressed our three countries’ support for brotherly Lebanon, as well as our readiness to support every sincere effort that relieves the suffering of the Lebanese society and contributes to achieving stability and improving the economic situation in the country.
On the other hand, our deliberations also dealt with the danger posed by the phenomenon of terrorism and extremist ideology due to the negative impact of instability and chaos on disrupting the efforts of peoples to cope with progress and development and generating cross-border crises, such as the phenomenon of illegal immigration and related organized crime activities, and human trafficking.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The meeting with our Greek and Cypriot partners today was an appropriate opportunity to re-discuss the comprehensive perspective that Egypt adopts in its approach to the dimensions of human rights issues, including the necessity of observing economic, social and cultural rights and focusing on achieving a qualitative leap in the quality of human life and enabling countries to provide a safe and stable environment in which the citizen exercises all his rights stipulated in the Constitution and the law, with the need to respect the privacy of societies and peoples.
These Egyptian convictions were manifested in our recent launch of the National Human Rights Strategy to represent a comprehensive national approach and framework for the Egyptian state’s action in this regard.
Your Excellency, Prime Minister,
Your Excellency, Mr. President,
At the end of my speech, I would like to thank you both dear friends for your sincere commitment to maintain the ties of the close friendship between our states and societies as well as your keenness to launch such mechanism forward to wider horizons. I assure both of you that Egypt is looking forward to host the tenth meeting of the Tripartite Cooperation Mechanism during the coming year if God wills.