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Five-country Cairo summit focuses on Libya turmoil

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Cyprus Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides is in Cairo to participate in a five-party summit with his counterparts from Egypt, France, Italy and Greece to focus on events in Libya.

According to Nicosia the aim of the meeting is to evaluate developments in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region and how to deal with existing challenges to security and stability.

The Foreign Ministry said, “developments in Libya, the situation in Syria and Turkey`s illegal actions within the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus are expected to be on the focus of discussions.”

The meeting highlights the strengthening of alliances in the region and the excellent relations of the five countries and coordination in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region.

Diplomatic efforts between the five countries have intensified since Turkey signed a maritime and security accord with the UN-backed Libya government.

Greece, Cyprus and Egypt have denounced the maritime accord as illegal and outside international law, the EU has also backed Athens and Nicosia on this issue.

Turkey’s deal with Libya is seen as undermining the sovereignty of other states in the region – especially the maritime boundaries of Cyprus and Greece – while compoundi8ng the civil war in Libya.

Against the backdrop of unfolding events in Libya, Greece’s Nikos Dendias, Christodoulides and Egypt’s Sameh Shoukry will on Wednesday hold a trilateral summit in Cairo with the participation of their French and Italian counterparts Jean-Yves Le Drian and Luigi Di Maio.

Libya will also be on the agenda of Wednesday’s meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Istanbul, where they will attend the inauguration ceremony of the TurkStream natural gas pipeline that will also supply Greece.

Erdogan said the regional alliances that have been created in the Eastern Mediterranean challenge the vital interests of Turkey, warning Ankara will not remain idle.