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31-03-2023 16:06

Introductory Remarks by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Constantinos Kombos, at the Trilateral Meeting between the Foreign Ministers of Cyprus, Greece and Israel

Dear Nicos, dear Eli,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Shalom, καλώς ήρθατε, welcome!

It is a great pleasure to host you and your delegations today in Nicosia for this Trilateral meeting. We had the opportunity to cover a thorough agenda in our continuous political dialogue.

Our Trilateral platform has evolved considerably since its inception. The range of issues includes, but it is not limited; energy, defence, emergency response, cyber security, business and diaspora coordination.

This is without doubt a dynamic strategic alliance between partners sharing common democratic values. This is our joint foundation. Moreover, we have a shared vision of stability, prosperity, and security in our region and beyond.

Today we have reaffirmed our commitment to propel our partnership to new fields. We agreed on the next steps in preparation of the 9th Trilateral Summit between our leaders to be hosted by President Christodoulides by the end of this year.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our world is facing growing challenges. The unprovoked and illegal Russian aggression in Ukraine is a clear evidence of that.

In such a context, our trilateral cooperation, and our project – based synergies provide a much-needed platform for a rules-based code of conduct and effective diplomacy.   

The ground breaking Abraham Accords and the momentum of the Negev Forum have strengthened, in an unprecedented way, regional integration. 

These successful examples of regional multilateralism naturally connect to our very own Trilateral platform and our useful 3+1 mechanism with the US, aimed to promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Under this light, we have looked into ways of including Cyprus and Greece in particular Negev Forum thematics. We have also discussed practical ways to further develop our 3+1 synergies with tangible deliverables and additional participants.

We also reconfirmed our commitment to continue and enhance our close cooperation in the field of energy.

Unlocking the full potential of our region will be a game changer. We strive to promote a reliable and sustainable energy corridor from the Eastern Mediterranean basin to Europe.

The EuroAsia Interconnector and the EastMed Pipeline, remain two significant strategic options in our energy agenda. We are confident that their materialization will entail added practical and geostrategic value for the Eastern Mediterranean and the European Union.

We also had the chance to exchange views on key regional files and on our vital coordination in effectively tackling asymmetric threats and terrorism. 

We referred to the recent terrorist attacks in Israel which we denounce in the strongest possible terms. We are expressing our unwavering solidarity to Eli, to Israel and its people.

Especially ahead of the religious holidays of Passover, Ramadan and Easter I relayed our concern about the increase of violence. I underscored the importance of de-escalation and of safeguarding the historic status quo in the Holy Sites in Jerusalem, including in the Christian Orthodox places of worship.

In this context, I commended the recent efforts in ‘Aqaba and Sharm El Sheikh and the crucial role played by regional partners such as Egypt and Jordan together with the US.

Dear friends,

I had the chance to brief my counterparts on the latest developments of the Cyprus Issue and the efforts of President Christodoulides for the resumption of negotiations in line with the agreed framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, with political equality. We are taking the initiative for breaking this unacceptable deadlock.

Dear Eli, dear Nicos,

Once again it was a privilege to have you here today. I hope that it is the start of many more meetings in this very useful format.

I am looking forward to continuing our close and frank engagement.

Ευχαριστώ, toda raba!