CAIRO - 6 April 2023: Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides agreed on Wednesday to launch a joint cooperation forum between the two nations as part strengthening their distinguished bilateral relations.
The two presidents addressed various bilateral and regional topics of mutual interest at press conference following their meeting at the Ittihadiya Presidential Palace in Cairo today.
"We agreed on the importance of preparing well for the second round of the Joint High Committee to achieve significant progress in all aspects of our cooperation, including the energy sector," El-Sisi said.
He added that the discussion included the electricity connection project and the transfer of Cypriot gas to two desalination plants in Egypt, as well as exploring new frameworks for clean and renewable energy projects.
President Christodoulides arrived in Cairo earlier Wednesday where he was received by President El-Sisi.
It is the first visit by the new Cypriot president to a foreign capital since assuming his post in February.
“I greatly appreciate that Egypt is your first regional destination following your election as president of your country, which reflects our joint keenness on the distinguished relations between our two countries and our friendly peoples,” President El-Sisi said in addressing his Cypriot counter at the press conference.
El-Sisi added that the discussions today included proceeding with the electricity connection project as well as the transfer of Cypriot gas to two desalination plants in Egypt,.
They also included exploring new frameworks for clean and renewable energy projects and ways to boost trade exchange and military cooperation between the two countries, the Egyptian president added.
According to data released by Egypt's Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) on Wednesday, the value of Egyptian exports to Cyprus increased to $76 million in 2022, up from $45 million in 2021, an increase of 68.8 percent.
The Egyptian president also commended the valuable contribution of former President Nicos Anastasiades in strengthening the bonds between Egypt and Cyprus over the past ten years.
El-Sisi added that the meeting with Christodoulides provided an ideal opportunity to reaffirm the value of the trilateral partnership between Egypt, Cyprus, and Greece.
The two leaders agreed on the need to prepare in a thorough manner for the upcoming trilateral cooperation summit which Egypt will host later this year, he revealed.
Regional issues & GERD
On a regional level, the two leaders said they agreed on the importance of holding the upcoming elections in Libya as soon as possible.
They also emphasised the need for withdrawing all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libyan territory to restore the country's sovereignty, territorial integrity and stability.
“I reaffirmed to President Christodoulides Egypt's fundamental vision for achieving security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean region based on the respect of all relevant countries for international law and the United Nations Charter, particularly the principles of non-interference in internal affairs and respect for sovereign rights and territorial waters,” El-Sisi said.
The Egyptian President reaffirmed to the Cypriot president Egypt's support for settlement efforts of the Cyprus issue in accordance with international legitimacy and United nations Security Council resolutions as well as its rejection of any unilateral steps by any party to create a new reality in violation of UNSC decisions.
On the Palestinian issue, El-Sisi said that he emphasised to the Cyproit president the importance of international efforts in deescalating violence and in halting israeli settlements.
He also highlighted the importance of moving forward towards a final settlement whereby an independent Palestinian state is established based on the two-state solution.
The two presidents also discussed the latest developments concerning the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
They reviewed Egyptian efforts to reach a legal and binding agreement for filling and operating the dam in a way that fulfills the aspirations of all peoples in development and safeguards the rights of all parties.
For his part, President Christodoulides reaffirmed that Cyprus supports Egypt’s position on the GERD issue and on establishing an independent Palestinian state based on a two-state solution.
A partnership based on respect
President Christodoulides praised the successful partnership between his country and Egypt.
Christodoulides added that he will be seeking as president to boost this partnership, which he described as one that is based on mutual respect.
He thanked Egypt for its support for Cyprus and the unity of its territories.
He also noted that his country strongly backs co-operation between Cairo and the EU.
He expressed his appreciation for the Egyptian position on refugees and irregular migration, stressing that the EU must recognise and support Egypt's efforts in hosting millions of refugees.
He also explained that he discussed the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian war on food security in the meeting with El-Sisi today.
Christodoulides added that he is looking forward to participating in a meeting with Egypt and Greece as part of the trilateral cooperation mechanism.
Finally, he praised the warm welcome he received from his Egyptian counterpart, stressing that it was an honour for him to visit Cairo for the first time as the president of Cyprus.