“An opportunity to move beyond the political relationship to cover economic, security & cultural ties”
Cooperation between Cyprus, Greece and Jordan enhances the strategy for peace and stability in the eastern Mediterranean said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the 2nd Greece, Cyprus, Jordan Trilateral Summit that was held in Amman on April 14th.
His Majesty King Abdullah, Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agreed during their summit to expand cooperation between the three countries in vital sectors including energy, water, agriculture, tourism, healthcare, education, trade, investment and ICT.
The three countries also agreed to encourage their respective private sectors to establish joint projects that capitalise upon available trade opportunities, while bolstering expertise and knowledge exchange a Royal Court statement said. Jordan, Cyprus and Greece affirmed the importance of maintaining coordination on issues of mutual concern in service of common interests and with the aim of achieving peace and bolstering security and stability in the region according to the statement.
At the conclusion of the 2nd trilateral summit, which was attended by senior officials from the three countries, a declaration was released outlining the outcomes of the talks.
The trilateral summit reaffirmed support for King Abdullah’s efforts, as Hashemite custodian, to safeguard Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem and preserve the legal and historical status quo in the city. In addition, the summit covered the peace process, reiterating support for a comprehensive, just, lasting and negotiated solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on the two-state solution, International Law, relevant UN Resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, which guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along the June 4th 1967, lines with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel.
In remarks at the first round of the trilateral summit, His Majesty welcomed President Anastasiades and Prime Minister Tsipras, noting that since last year’s first trilateral summit, the partnership has moved in the right direction. The second summit, His Royal Highness said, is an opportunity to move beyond the political relationship to cover economic, security and cultural ties. He voiced the hope that the joint business forum, held in parallel to the summit with the participation of business leaders from the three countries, would prove successful.
The King noted renewable energy, agriculture, tourism and transport as some key sectors for cooperation. He highlighted the role of Cyprus and Greece in overcoming regional challenges, noting efforts to move forward on the two-state solution and the peace process, as well as addressing challenges in Iraq and Syria. He also pointed to Cyprus’ and Greece’s support for Jordan’s efforts to safeguard Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem. “This is something that is close to all our hearts,” His Majesty said, commending the important role of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Jordan.
Thanking the King for the hospitality, President Anastasiades said the meeting “reflects the importance we attach to further expanding and deepening our synergies to the benefit of our countries, our peoples in the region as a whole”. “The signing of the memoranda of understanding in the field of education and between our respective investment promotion agencies, as well as the first trilateral business forum taking place today, constitute important developments in fully exploring the important opportunities between our countries,” the Cypriot President added. “I believe that the decision we have taken to establish a permanent secretariat in Cyprus will serve the further development of our trilateral mechanism, with the aim of ensuring that both its potential and momentum are fully exploited and utilised,” he said.
President Anastasiades also noted that the three countries share a common belief in the need to achieve political solutions to regional crises in accordance with International Law “and in full respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of states, as well as of good neighbourly relations”.
The three countries also share the same position that addressing the effect of the refugee crisis and migration flow requires solidarity and responsibility sharing, he noted. “In this respect, I wish to assure Your Majesty that we will continue working with our EU partners so that Jordan is supported both politically and economically in addressing the consequences of the refugee crisis and the heavy burden that this places on its economy, structure and society,” President Anastasiades said. “In parallel, we will continue to actively advocate for the strengthening of EU-Jordan relations, including engaging more on regional and foreign policy issues,” he added.
President Anastasiades also spoke about the latest efforts to resume negotiations on the Cyprus problem to reach a lasting solution, the statement added.
For his part, the Greek Prime Minister said the Summit “highlights the determination to strengthen our partnership with a strategic perspective for the region”. “Jordan is a country with which we have strong historical and cultural ties. Jordan is a country that constitutes one of the most important forces of stability in the region, as well as of peace and coexistence in our broader region,” he added.
Premier Tsipras stated that the three countries have to deal with common challenges and share the same principles. He noted the need to jointly address the migration and refugee issue and called upon the European Union to confront the challenges and to support the people of Syria. Greece and Cyprus, as “frontline EU countries in the region,” realise that “challenges that have to do with security or refugee flows in the Middle East are challenges for Europe as a whole,” he added.
He noted that Greece will increase coordination to strengthen EU-Jordan relations and “to support peace in Syria and a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine living in peace, based on the borders of 1967, with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine”. He emphasised that the status quo in Jerusalem should be maintained and both the Christians and the Muslims to be protected. “Your crucial role in Syria, and your crucial role in supporting Syrian people; your crucial role in the Middle East peace process and your role as Custodian of the Islamic and Christian shrines in Jerusalem; or your role in confronting terrorist networks and extremism – is very important for global and regional developments,” he said, addressing His Majesty.
According to government sources during his meeting with King Abdullah of Jordan, the Greek Prime Minister praised Jordan and the King’s contribution to addressing regional problems. He said that Greece’s role is important because it constitutes a pillar of stability for the safe transport of energy sources from the eastern Mediterranean to the European Union. Moreover, he said that Greece can become a bridge between Jordan and the European Union. He also referred to the two countries’ historic bonds and to the new opportunities for economic cooperation, particularly in the sector of construction. Noting the potential for business and economic cooperation between the three countries, Premier Tsipras said the business forum held on the sidelines of the summit offers an opportunity to bolster cooperation in construction, energy, tourism, education and ICT.
Discussions at the trilateral summit’s second round covered means to advance economic cooperation and also addressed the outcomes of the first summit. The third round covered developments in the Middle East and the importance of achieving peace and stability in the region. Regional and international efforts to counter terrorism within a holistic approach were also discussed. Moreover, the three leaders witnessed the signing of two trilateral memoranda of understanding on cooperation in investment and education.
Earlier, the King held bilateral and expanded talks with President Anastasiades on the means to enhance cooperation and partnership between Jordan and Cyprus, as well as regional developments, according to the Royal Court. The King of Jordan and the Cypriot President, in the presence of the Greek Prime Minister, witnessed the signing of a bilateral agreement between Jordan and Cyprus on cooperation in fighting terrorism, organised crime, illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors, illegal migration and other criminal offences. A memorandum of understanding between Jordan and Cyprus on research and technology was also signed.
The King also held bilateral and expanded talks with Prime Minister Tsipras, which covered opportunities for further cooperation and regional issues, the statement said.
(Photographs by A.Bonetti/Office to the PM)