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DIPLOMACY: Cyprus, Greece and Jordan cement regional cooperation

15 April, 2019

The leaders of Jordan, Cyprus and Greece agreed to establish a Permanent Secretariat in Nicosia, which will anchor and facilitate their trilateral cooperation in the fields of regional security, energy and trade. 


A Declaration issued after the second Trilateral Summit in Amman, leaders of the three countries agreed to appoint a national coordinator in each country for their trilateral cooperation. They agreed to institutionalize high-level interagency discussions on foreign, defence and security policy in addition to launching a ministerial trilateral cooperation forum involving the ministers of finance and trade. 

King of Jordan Abdullah II, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and the Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras agreed to strengthen the trilateral cooperation between their countries to promote stability, security and prosperity in the region, and have agreed to build on the outcomes of their first trilateral Summit, which took place in Nicosia on 16 January 2018. 

"Since our first trilateral summit, significant progress has been achieved in various fields of cooperation. In the meantime, much potential remains untapped and it is important to focus our attention on such areas in order to maximize the return from our cooperation, to our joint benefit," the declaration said.

The leaders said the large gas discoveries in offshore fields in the eastern Mediterranean will have a major impact on the energy sector and economic development in the region and can serve as a catalyst for regional stability and prosperity.

Based on such discoveries, we welcome the holding of the first meeting of Ministers of energy which took place in Cairo on January 14, 2019, where Ministers established the “East Mediterranean Gas Forum” (EMGF), as a forum for all states in the region, to support the efforts of its members - both producers and consumers - to benefit from gas reserves and infrastructure in order to secure their energy needs, they noted.

The three leaders also noted that Jordan is at the frontline of the fight against terrorism and as such, expressed resolute support to Jordan’s efforts to counter this phenomenon in a holistic approach, particularly to the key platform that the King established through the Aqaba Process Initiative, which offers for collaborative exchanges, consolidating the global front against terrorism and preventing violent extremism.

In addition, they expressed their commitment to the unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Syria and emphasized the need for a political solution to the conflict and in accordance with UNSC resolution 2254.

They also reaffirmed the responsibility of the international community to manage the refugee crisis on the basis of the principles of solidarity and equitable burden-sharing.

 

"We appreciate the role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for hosting over 1.3 million Syrians. We acknowledge the instrumental role of the EU in supporting Jordan to overcome the crisis, thus helping the achievement of stability and security in the region. We also underline the crucial role of Greece with regard to the reception and accommodation of the refugees and appreciate the humane treatment of the refugees in the country," their declaration said.

Cyprus’ efforts to provide reception and hosting to disproportionate number of refugees was also acknowledged.

"We underline the importance of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation and highly value the role of the Union for the Mediterranean. Under joint EU-Jordan chairmanship, the UfM has gained traction in promoting the common interests of the countries of the region.”

They also expressed their support to the new Government of Iraq and its endeavours to uphold the unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of the country.

“In that respect, we welcome the participation of the foreign minister of Iraq in the meeting of our foreign ministers preceding this summit, and we positively note the decision of our foreign ministers to meet with the foreign minister of Iraq in Baghdad in the near future.”

The three leaders reviewed the progress achieved in the sectors endorsed at the first Trilateral Summit namely: renewable energy resources, energy efficiency, management of water resources, aquaculture, tourism, merchant shipping, health and the protection of antiquities.

They welcomed the holding of the joint Business Forum in Jordan on the sidelines of the summit.

"It will enable us to witness significant development and progress in various business sectors (tourism, energy, ICT), and provide a chance to discuss further means of expanding the existing economic and commercial relations between the three countries and introduce Jordan as a hub for the private sector to access the Iraqi market."

The next trilateral Summit will be held in Greece in 2020.