Uncategorized Egypt, Greece, Greek Cypriot Administration agree to fight terrorism

Egypt, Greece, Greek Cypriot Administration agree to fight terrorism


 Prime Minister of Greece, Antonis Samaras (R), Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (C) and Greek leader Nikos Anastasiadis (L) attend a press conference in Cairo, Egypt on November 8, 2014.
Prime Minister of Greece, Antonis Samaras (R), Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (C) and Greek leader Nikos Anastasiadis (L) attend a press conference in Cairo, Egypt on November 8, 2014.

(AA) – Egypt, Greece and the Greek Cypriot Administration on Saturday underlined the need for their joint cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and head of the Greek Cypriot Administration Nicos Anastasiades called on other countries to join hands in the fight against what they described as the “existential threat of terrorism”.

“We reaffirmed our determination to decisively fight terrorism and extremism,” al-Sisi said during a joint press conference in Cairo.

The three officials expressed deep concern over the situation in Libya, which has been in turmoil since the ouster and subsequent killing of strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

They also said that they would take suitable measures to support calls for an immediate cessation of violence in Libya and holding political dialogue for achieving reconciliation in the country.

The three officials also agreed to “urgently” resume their negotiations on defining their countries’ maritime boundaries and underlined the importance of respecting the “sovereignty of Cyprus over its own economic zone.”

They went on to call on Turkey to stop its current seismic survey “within the maritime boundaries of Cyprus” and to refrain from carrying out similar activities in the future.

The three top officials also called for bringing about a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement to the “Cypriot problem” with a view to unifying the island in line with international law.

Al-Sisi said his country would seek to fully exploit agreements it previously signed with Greece and the Greek Cypriot Administration in all fields.

“This derives from our respect for the rules of international law and the principles and objectives of the United Nations Charter, particularly when it comes to the sovereignty of countries, the need not to violate their borders or interfere in their internal affairs,” al-Sisi said.

Anastasiades, meanwhile, said his talks with the Egyptian and Greek leaders focused on internal developments in Egypt as well as on what he described as “violations committed by Turkey” in the Greek Cypriot Administration.

He went on to say that Turkish “violations” impeded the negotiation process in the island.

Samaras, for his part, said the Cairo talks had focused on the situation in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian problem.

He added that the talks also dwelt on the “need to reunify the two parts Cyprus island on the basis of respect for justice and history.”

The Greek Prime Minister noted that the meeting with the Egyptian President and the head of the Greek Cypriot Administration focused on terrorism too.

He called on other countries to contribute to the fight against terrorism to totally eradicate it everywhere.

On November 4, diplomatic sources in Ankara spoke of Turkish “disappointment” over stalled peace talks on the divided island of Cyprus.

Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met on that day with Ergun Olgun, a Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) negotiator, in Ankara amid a crisis in the Cyprus issue.

Cavusoglu reiterated Turkey’s goodwill in negotiations to Olgun; the TRNC negotiator said Turkish Cypriots would always be ready to continue talks over the disputed island, diplomatic sources said.

The Greek Cypriot administration suspended negotiations in October in response to Turkey sending a warship to monitor an oil-and-gas exploration mission off the Cyprus coast.

The diplomatic source added that during the closed meeting it was remarked that the Greek Cypriot side caused “disappointment” in suspending talks over Turkish Cypriots’ resource exploration on the island.

In October, TRNC President Dervis Eroglu said that the Greek Cypriot side had left the negotiation table “as if it were the first time Turkish vessels sailed the Mediterranean or Turkey’s seismic vessels surveyed for the first time in Cyprus waters.”

Turkish Cypriots have rights on the Mediterranean and the island just like Greek Cypriots, the TRNC leader said, adding that the Turkish Cypriot government has given Turkey the authority to do seismic surveys in the region on their behalf.

Talks over the future of the island remain dogged by the small country’s troubled past.

In 1960, a ‘Treaty Concerning the Establishment of the Republic of Cyprus’ – commonly known as the ‘Treaty of Guarantee’ – was signed between Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom.

The treaty banned the island of Cyprus from participating in any political or economic union with another state as well as making other parties guarantee its independence, territorial integrity and security.

However, in 1963, only three years after the treaty was signed, Turkish Cypriots were ousted by force from all organs of the new republic by their Greek Cypriot partners, which violated founding agreements and the country’s constitution.

Greek Cypriots thereafter claimed to represent the ‘Republic of Cyprus,’ which was considered illegal by Ankara and remains unrecognized by Turkey.

Between 1964 and 1974, the international community made several peacemaking efforts, all of which ended in failure.

In 1974, an attempt was made by Greek Cypriots to forcibly join the island to Athens through ‘enosis’ [union] via a coup attempt. This was resisted by an armed Turkish peace mission in accordance with the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee.

Consequently, Turkish Cypriots set up their own state in the north of the island in 1983, recognized by Turkey, while continuing the search for reconciliation.

The European Union recognizes the Greek Cypriot administration on the island.

In 2004, Cypriots went to the polls to decide on the so-called ‘Annan Plan’, which was a UN proposal to resolve the dispute by restructuring the island as a ‘United Republic of Cyprus.’ In effect, it proposed a federation of two states that aimed to unify the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities.

The proposal was revised five times before it was put to a referendum in April 2004 and was supported by 65% of Turkish Cypriots. However, only 24% of Greek Cypriots backed the plan, claiming that the proposal favored Turkish Cypriots, so the stalemate continued.

Negotiations between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots resumed after a two-year pause in February 2013. The previous round of talks collapsed partly because of the Eurozone debt crisis impact on the government in Nicosia.

However, the Greek Cypriot administration suspended the most recent talks on October 7 after Turkey sent a ship to monitor an oil-and-gas exploration mission off the Cyprus coast.

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