Greece, Israel, and Cyprus on Monday reaffirmed their commitment to deepening trilateral cooperation in multiple fields.
“During our discussion, we reaffirmed our aim to intensify collaboration in many fields, including energy, security, defense, economy, and academia,” said Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Christodoulides at a joint press conference with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu in Nicosia following their meeting.
All three leaders briefed the media on the main points of the meeting without taking any questions from journalists.
The joint statement by Greece, Cyprus and Israel
We, Nikos Christodoulides, President of the Republic of Cyprus, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, and Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel, having met in Nicosia today, September 4th 2023, for the 9th Trilateral Summit between our countries and reaffirmed our commitment to continue strengthening the dynamic cooperation of our trilateral partnership platform. Our engagement reflects our shared values and ever-increasing common interests, aiming to contribute to peace, stability, security and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean and the wider region.
As underlined on previous occasions, our three countries remain committed to welcoming other like-minded parties in our resolute effort to create and advance synergies, to the benefit of our countries and peoples, as well as of our region.
We reviewed progress achieved in a multiplicity of cooperation pillars, which have been developing in the eight years since the inception of this Trilateral forum and reaffirmed our aim to propel collaborations in key domains, such as energy, defense, emergency response, environment, tourism, health, technology and innovation, and diasporas.
We agreed that the energy sector, and in particular, natural gas, electricity and renewable energy, is a solid foundation for cooperation in the region, based on international law including the law of the sea and the respect of all states to exercise their rights in their respective EEZ/Continental Shelf.
In light of the growing need for energy diversification and interconnectivity, due to the geopolitical developments, we reaffirmed the common interest to advance prospects for a reliable energy corridor from the Eastern Mediterranean basin to Europe. In this context we stressed the importance of further promoting energy synergies with like-minded countries including the EMGF and regional projects such as electrical interconnections, like the EuroAsia Interconnector, and possible natural gas/hydrogen pipelines.
Addressing the global challenge of climate change, we agree to reinforce our efforts through regional cooperative projects, R&D, innovative energy technologies and promoting further regional energy connectivity. Against the backdrop of recent wildfires in Greece and Cyprus, taking note of the recent assistance provided by Israel, we reaffirm our mutual commitment to assist each other in responding to emergencies and further enhance our coordination and joint capabilities for that purpose.
We also reaffirmed on the value of the 3+1 format with the United States which can offer tangible deliverables, inter alia, in the areas of energy, economy, climate action, emergency preparedness and counterterrorism. It was agreed to work together towards holding a ministerial 3+1 meeting later this year.
Given the positive momentum unleashed by the historic Abraham Accords and the new opportunities that it has created, we explored ways of linking work done in our Trilateral platform with other regional formats, including the Negev Forum.
The strengthening and widening of the circle of peace between Israel and the Arab world, unthinkable only a few years ago, holds the promise for a more secure and prosperous region, and we are committed to encourage and support this process.
Prime Minister Mitsotakis and Prime Minister Netanyahu were briefed by President Christodoulides on the latest developments around the Cyprus Issue and welcomed his initiative to include an enhanced EU role in the efforts to resume negotiations. In this context the three sides expressed unwavering support for a just, comprehensive, and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem, based on international law and relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.
They also expressed serious concern over recent actions in the buffer zone near Pyla, taking note of the Security Council’s 21 August press statement on this matter. In this vein, they underscored the need to avoid any further unilateral or escalatory actions that could raise tensions and harm the prospects for a settlement.
We agreed that a settlement which will reunify the island, based on the respect of democratic principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots, would not only benefit the people of Cyprus in its entirety, but also significantly contribute to the peace and stability of the region.
We firmly and unequivocally condemned all forms of terrorism, as well as incitement to violence and hatred.
We called on our regional partners and the rest of the international community to step up the efforts to curb terrorism and hold all entities which promote and sponsor it accountable.
Recent terror plots against Israeli and Jewish targets were encouraged by foreign actors who aim to destabilize the region. These malicious attempts were foiled thanks to the Greek and Cypriot authorities and demonstrated the common threat of terrorism and the importance of our close cooperation in the fight against it.
We reiterated our steadfast commitment to the enhancement of EU-Israel relations. We underline the need to promote cooperation in the framework of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, and the reconvening of the EU-Israel Association Council during the last quarter of this year.
We also noted the importance of the Aqaba and Sharm El Sheikh meetings and their key contribution to de-escalation and stability, as well as their potential for rebuilding trust between the parties which is needed for advancing a just and lasting peace.
We agreed that the next trilateral Summit will be held in Israel, during 2024.