CAIRO: Egypt, Cyprus and Greece have demanded respect for the sovereignty and sovereign rights of states in their maritime areas in the eastern Mediterranean.
The demand came in a joint statement from the three countries’ foreign ministers during their meeting in Athens, where they discussed cooperation to deepen their political and economic commitment, regional challenges and delivering a clear message that the region had the potential to be peaceful and stable.
They said this cooperation system was in the interest of promoting regional prosperity, which laid the basis for a positive agenda, and they expressed their commitment to intensifying coordination and cooperation opportunities.
They welcomed the preparations for the establishment of a Tripartite Secretariat, based in Nicosia, Cyprus, that launches later this year, and for the founding charter of the EastMed Gas Forum that enters into force on March 1.
The charter establishes the forum as a regional organization based in Cairo. The forum is open to all countries that share the same values and goals and have the desire to cooperate for regional security and prosperity.
The joint statement reaffirmed the three countries’ commitment to international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the UN Charter, as well as the principles stipulated as foundations for peace and security, neighborly relations and the peaceful resolution of disputes.
They stressed the importance of respecting the sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction of each state over its maritime areas in accordance with international law, while condemning any activities that violated international law.
The joint statement said that resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state solution was an indispensable requirement for comprehensive peace and stability in the region, in addition to the importance of ensuring the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state on the lines of June 4, 1967 agreement, which has Palestinians living side-by-side with Israel.
It also said it was important to preserve the composition, character and status of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, and the renewed implementation of UN Security Council resolutions that provided for a complete and immediate cessation of all settlement activities, including those in East Jerusalem.
The ministers welcomed the agreement by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum to choose a unified transitional executive authority for Libya, considering it a major achievement in the political process and an important step toward ensuring the holding of fair and inclusive elections this December.
They said there was a need for the effective implementation of the cease-fire agreement, respect for the UN arms embargo and the complete withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from the country.
The ministers stressed the importance of the full implementation of the outputs of the Joint Military Committee (5+5), especially the exit of all foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libyan territory.
They affirmed their strong support for a wholly Libyan political solution to the crisis, considering any foreign intervention as unacceptable, and said all agreements concluded in violation of international law were null.
They called on the new Libyan government to consider the memoranda of understanding signed by Turkey and Fayez Al-Sarraj in Nov. 2019 as null.
The joint statement reaffirmed the three countries’ commitment to the unity, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, and their support for a permanent political settlement of the Syrian crisis in full accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.
They reaffirmed the urgent necessity for the withdrawal of all foreign and mercenary forces from the country.