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Greece, Cyprus, Egypt affirm energy Cooperation, call on Turkey to end “provocative actions”

During the tripartite summit in Cairo, Cyprus, Greece and Egypt affirmed their cooperation in engergy sector. At the same time, they called on Turkey on Tuesday to “end its provocative actions” in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, including exploring for oil in Cyprus’ territorial waters, which they called “a breach of international law”.

On Thursday, Turkey said it had sent a drilling ship to the area where Greek Cypriot authorities have already awarded hydrocarbon exploration rights to Italian and French companies.

“The Heads of State and Government expressed their grave concern over the current escalation within the maritime areas of the eastern part of the Mediterranean, condemning the continuing Turkish actions in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus and its territorial waters, in violation of international law,” Cyprus, Greece and Egypt said.

Their joint statement was released after Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades met Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo where the three leaders met to confirm also their cooperation in energy.

The three countries expressed concern at “new attempts to conduct illegal exploration” in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, the statement said.

“We discussed the progress on the trilateral cooperation mechanism in the realms of defense, energy, environmental protection, and handling expats,” Cypriot President Anastasiades stated declaring that the meeting is held in light of regional developments.

Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis asserted that the trilateral cooperation mechanism between the three states will persist. “I am confident that the positive messages and the fruitful outcomes will be a glowing light for international developments,” the Greek prime minister said.

He affirmed that the stance of his country matches that of Egypt on Libya, Syria and Palestinian Cause. “I am optimistic because Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus constitute a triangle of security and stability eastern the Mediterrenean,” Mitsotakis added among others.

In July, Greece accused Turkey of undermining security in the eastern Mediterranean by drilling for oil and gas around Cyprus.

Earlier that month, Turkey said it rejected Greek and EU assertions that Turkish drilling for gas and oil off Cyprus was illegitimate, and said they showed the EU could not be an impartial mediator on the Cyprus problem.

In January, Eastern Mediterranean countries meeting in Cairo, including the three which issued the statement, agreed to set up a forum to create a regional gas market, cut infrastructure costs and offer competitive prices, part of efforts to transform the region into a major energy hub.

Egypt is betting that its strategic location straddling the Suez Canal, its land bridge between Asia and Africa and its infrastructure, including a pipeline network and two gas liquefaction plants, will help turn it into a trading and distribution center for countries in the region and beyond.

sources: kfgo, egypttoday

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