Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides affirmed his country’s endeavor to strengthen relations with Egypt in energy, tourism, and defense.
Christodoulides announced Tuesday plans to visit Cairo soon to meet his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, saying Egypt would be his second foreign trip after Greece.
Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus are in an expanded tripartite cooperation mechanism that includes the military and political fields and the coordination of interests in the eastern Mediterranean, which grew after natural gas discoveries in the East Mediterranean.
In an interview with al-Qahera News channel Tuesday, the Cypriot president said he looks forward to visiting Egypt to discuss several vital files related to bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to enhance them.
He affirmed that his country has a role in supporting European-Egyptian relations.
Christodoulides said that his upcoming meeting with Sisi would touch on regional and international issues, namely the East Mediterranean Gas Forum, which would allow for more rapprochement between Cairo and Nicosia.
The president added that he would come to Egypt with a comprehensive agenda on bilateral relations, energy files, and the East Mediterranean, noting that there are suitable energy reserves in the region, providing development opportunities.
The Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum was established on an Egyptian initiative, which was put forward during the Crete summit, between the leaders of Egypt, Cyprus, and Greece, in October 2018.
The forum’s charter entered into force in March 2021 with the membership of the founders: Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, and Jordan. Palestine and France joined it later, and the US entered as an observer. Representatives of the World Bank and the European Union also joined the forum.
The Cypriot president expressed his aspiration to establish the permanent secretariat of the tripartite mechanism that includes Egypt, Cyprus, and Greece.
Cyprus hosted the tripartite summit of the Tripartite Cooperation Mechanism three times, and since 2014, nine meetings have been held periodically.
Egypt, Cyprus, and Greece have exchanged visits on several political, economic, and military levels over the past years.
After a meeting of defense ministers last year, the three countries agreed to support cooperation in the defense and security fields to face challenges and support stability in East Mediterranean.
The Cypriot president praised the reform process in Egypt, appreciating efforts to restore Egypt’s pioneering and pivotal role and the “unprecedented” reforms Sisi is carrying out for the benefit of the Egyptians.
Christodoulides was sworn in as President of Cyprus at the end of February after winning the presidential elections.
The Egyptian president called his Cypriot counterpart, congratulating him on winning the presidential elections.
He said in an official statement that the Egyptian-Cypriot friendship is based on shared values and mutual interests, relying on a rich and diverse legacy of human and civilization exchange.
The Egyptian president expressed his aspiration for the continued development and strengthening of the strategic partnership between the two countries in a way that serves the aspirations of the two peoples and contributes to achieving stability, security, development, and prosperity.