President Nicos Anastasiades asked Egypt to exert pressure on Turkey to reverse its illegal actions over energy rights and ease tensions to create a climate conducive to resuming Cyprus talks.
Accepting, on Thursday, the credentials of Egypt ambassador Mohsen Hamza, the President said that only if Turkey ends its stance, will there be realistic prospects for success.
“That is why I once again urge your Government to exert every effort for Turkey to alter its intransigent stance.”
Anastasiades said it was essential to hold an informal five-party UN-led Conference to finally clarify views and objectives for the resumption of peace talks.
“It is wholly disheartening when at the very moment the UN Secretary-General declared his readiness to prepare the ground for re-launching the negotiating process, Turkey responds with illegal and provocative actions either by drilling within the Republic of Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone or opening the fenced area of Varosha,” Anastasiades said.
He recalled that Cyprus and Egypt had taken, along with Greece, in 2014, the initiative to establish a number of trilateral partnerships in the region.
“Our trilateral cooperation has already yielded specific results in a number of fields.”
He argued regional challenges in Syria and Libya cannot be addressed without the contribution of Egypt.
“I would like to welcome the recent high-level visits of EU officials to Cairo, as they signify the acknowledgement of the regional importance of Egypt.”
The new Ambassador of Egypt said that bilateral ties form the solid foundation of a strategic partnership that covers a wide array of fields.
“Both our countries share common positions on these challenges and threats that violate international law, prolong regional conflicts and sponsor terrorism,” Hamza said.
“Egypt will continue to coordinate, consult and exchange valuable information with Cyprus and our trusted partners in that connection,” he added.
The Ambassador reassured of Egypt’s firm position on the Cyprus issue based on United Nations Security Council Resolutions and Cairo’s opposition to any acts that contravene what has been agreed.
Referring to regional energy security, Ambassador Hamza said that joint cooperative endeavours in both the gas and electricity sectors are a case in point.
“We need to make the best use of the huge potential available and move forward towards the implementation of existing projects while considering other possible undertakings.”
Hamza said the East Mediterranean Gas Forum, which both Egypt and Cyprus are a part of, serves as a “prototype” for regional collaboration and a platform for ensuring energy security.
“Its operationalization is a top priority for us and we will work with Cyprus towards that end.”
“Our special partnership should guide us together, along with our partners, down a path of meaningful dialogue and interaction…As such, we highly appreciate Cyprus’s valuable support of Egypt’s relationship with the European Union and count on its continuity.”
Hamza said military and our political coordination needs to be better translated on the economic and commercial fronts.
“This is particularly relevant as Egypt’s economy is steadily becoming one of the world’s best performing emerging economies.
“The business environment presents unique opportunities that both sides should exploit, and I, therefore, intend to work with concerned parties in order to explore all relevant prospects.”