Greece, Egypt and Cyprus have warned Turkey to stop taking unilateral actions in the eastern Mediterranean during a summit of their leaders in Athens on Tuesday.
Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades reaffirmed their determination to continue their collaboration on issues of mutual interest, enhancing peace, security and stability in the wider region.
The declaration of the 9th Trilateral Summit of Greece-Cyprus-Egypt sends a message to Turkey to refrain from provocations and unilateral actions that violate international law, such as the harassment of research vessels licensed by Greece or Cyprus, stressing that in an aggressive environment or under threat of violence, it cannot have a productive dialogue with results.
It also stresses the importance of “respect for the sovereignty and sovereign rights of all states in their maritime zones, in accordance with international law as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.”
The three leaders also rejected illegal drilling and seismic surveys by Turkish vessels atop the Cyprus EEZ/continental shelf, in regions of the sea that have already been demarcated in accordance with international law. They also condemned the continuing violations of Greek airspace and all other illegal activities in areas within the Greek continental shelf, in violation of international law.
Leaders hail electricity interconnection
Greece, Egypt and Cyprus also made special reference to the signing of the tripartite electricity interconnection of the three countries, a project which “strengthens our economic cooperation and the security of energy supply not only of the countries involved, but also of Europe.”
They pointed out that the electricity interconnection will create a transportation channel of significant quantities of electricity to and from the Eastern Mediterranean. The project is said to be an important component of the development strategy of the Eastern Mediterranean Energy Corridor, providing an alternative source of energy supply from the region to the European Union and vice versa.
Energy, defense dominate Mitsotakis al-Sisi meeting
Earlier, energy and defense were two of the main issues that dominated the meeting between Mitsotakis and al-Sisi. According to Mitsotakis, the two leaders had the opportunity to confirm the excellent level of bilateral relations, while emphasis was placed on the energy and defense sectors. It was pointed out that the developments in the wider region require the development of the EU-Egypt strategic relationship.
Στη συζήτηση δόθηκε ιδιαίτερη έμφαση στους τομείς της ενέργειας και της άμυνας. Συζητήσαμε επίσης, για τις εξελίξεις στην Μεσόγειο και την ευρύτερη περιοχή, οι οποίες επιβάλλουν την ανάπτυξη της στρατηγικής σχέσης ΕΕ – Αιγύπτου. https://t.co/UBXDQOWDGp pic.twitter.com/1kNhkfkHGb
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) October 19, 2021
Mitsotakis briefed the Egyptian president on Turkey’s recent provocative moves, stressing its destabilizing role in the wider region. He also reiterated his readiness for dialogue and rapprochement provided that there is respect for international law and Greece’s sovereignty and sovereign rights, while refraining from provocative actions.
In addition, he informed al-Sisi about Greece’s recent strategic moves in the diplomatic field, which, as mentioned, confirm and strengthen its role as a pillar of stability and security in the wider region and open new prospects for closer cooperation with countries that have the same priorities as regards the Eastern Mediterranean, like Egypt.
The two leaders also discussed the latest developments on the Cyprus issue and in Lebanon, a country with which Greece, Cyprus and Egypt maintain excellent relations and to which they provide firm support, as well as developments in Libya and the country’s prospects after the elections.