The gas field discovered offshore Egypt has the potential of not only enhancing existing cooperation between neighbouring countries in the hydrocarbon sector, but also of creating new synergies between them, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Friday, receiving, at a formal ceremony at the Presidential Palace, the credentials of the Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Cyprus, Hussein Abdelkarim Tantawy Mubarak.
Anastasiades congratulated the government of Egypt “on the hugely important discovery of a gas field offshore Egypt which,” as he said, will certainly transform the energy sector of Egypt and have a decisive impact on its economy for the benefit of the Egyptian people.
He noted that “undoubtedly, the said gas field is yet another proof of the richness of the Mediterranean Sea in natural resources and has the potential of not only enhancing the existing cooperation between neighbouring countries in the hydrocarbon sector but also of creating new synergies between them for the benefit of their peoples and of the region as a whole.”
Referring to the UN-led negotiations on the Cyprus problem, Anastasiades said that to-date, the negotiations have proceeded smoothly but there are still critical issues to be discussed and negotiated. Furthermore, he expressed sincere hope that Turkey, which still occupies the northern part of Cyprus, will demonstrate genuine political will and grasp the opportunity offered by the current positive climate in Cyprus to abandon its intransigent stance and contribute in a positive way to the process.
The President reiterated his “sincere willingness and determination to work tirelessly to achieve a settlement based on a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality, as set out in the relevant Security Council Resolutions, the High Level Agreements and the Joint Declaration of February 2014, with a single international legal personality, a single sovereignty and a single citizenship, safeguarding the principles upon which the European Union is founded and ensuring the peaceful co-existence and prosperity of all Cypriots.”
“We also reiterate our strong belief in the adoption of confidence building measures, including our proposal on Varosha, aiming at building trust, and good will between the two communities, thereby providing a much needed stimulus to the prospect of reaching a settlement,” he noted.
Referring to relations between Cyprus and Egypt he said the two countries have traditionally enjoyed outstanding bilateral ties, which have been further reinforced during the last years.
“The sincere desire of Cyprus and Egypt to promote peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean does not represent wishful thinking, but it is actively proven through the role we are undertaking to strengthen regional cooperation, in the context of the tripartite cooperation with Greece,”Anastasiades said.
He noted that the realisation of the 2nd Cyprus-Egypt-Greece Tripartite Summit Meeting, in Nicosia and the Declaration adopted at the level of the Heads of States, “puts in practice the cooperation between our countries to achieve stability and prosperity in the region to the common benefit of our peoples.”
“Shortly, we expect that the expansion of this cooperation will be achieved, consolidating the benefits that will emerge from the peaceful coexistence and cooperation with almost all the neighbouring countries,” the President noted. “In this context, we emphasize anew that this cooperation is not directed against any other country, to the contrary, it is an opportunity that should be seized by all. We owe it to our people and to the future generations of this strife-torn corner of the world, which continues to suffer from poverty, insecurity, war and disaster,” he said.
Anastasiades also noted that despite the effects of the economic crisis, Cyprus remains a destination with great potential for investments and we are determined to continue working hard to restructure and reform our economy. “Its diversified open-market economy, its strategic location at the crossroad of three continents, its well-developed infrastructure, competitive tax system and highly-qualified human capital, contribute, inter alia, to Cyprus’ competitive advantages as an attractive business hub and an investment destination,” he added.
Anastasiades expressed his earnest appreciation and thanks “for the principled stance taken by the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt in the discussions on the resolution on the ‘Situation in Cyprus’ during the 42nd session of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers.”
On his part, Ambassador Mubarak expressed Egypt`s strong support to Anastasiades` efforts for a just comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue, based on the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
On bilateral relations, the Ambassador said they are excellent, noting that they have also been manifested at the people-to-people level and that Egyptians and Cypriots share common traditions and values.
Furthermore he said that the Republic Cyprus, with its strategic location at the heart of the Mediterranean, openness to the outside world and as a part of the European Union, has always enjoyed a unique importance, both on the regional and international level, and can be a bridge between the peoples on the north and the south of the Mediterranean.
“Egypt and Cyprus share common history and culture and had always enjoyed very special bilateral relations that extend to various fields of cooperation. Our relations have always been based on common understanding, cooperation and support,” he noted.
Mubarak assured that he and his colleagues at the embassy “will exert all and every effort possible to boost and advance our bilateral relations to the benefit and prosperity of our two countries.”
UN-led negotiations between President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci began in May 2015, with a view to reunite Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY