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Egypt, Greece and Cyprus to cooperate in natural gas exploration
Al-Sisi highlights maritime trade and hydro-carbons as key areas for future investment
Published in Daily News Egypt on 09 - 12 - 2015

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi expressed his optimism regarding the steps discussed towards increasing cooperation with Greece and Cyprus.
During the trilateral summit that held between Egypt, Greece and Cyprus leaders, Al-Sisi said the Athens meeting reflects the determination to move forward in an attempt to achieve development and progress.

The three countries agreed on further cooperation in various fields, especially in the economic, maritime and tourism sectors.

The three sides also agreed on ways to confront terrorism. "We agreed on facing terrorism through refuting the ideological foundations of the terrorist groups and not limiting it to the security and military strategies," Al-Sisi said.

A number of joint projects are expected to be declared between the three countries in the upcoming period.
The heads of state further highlighted the importance of international solidarity to address the illegal immigration phenomenon.
The issue should be tackled from a comprehensive perspective that takes into consideration the social dimensions, according to the Egyptian president.
Greek Prime Minister Alexi Tsipras said the meeting adopted "Athens declaration", which aims to combat terrorism, in addition to enhancing maritime and energy collaboration.
The declaration also affirms the need for a political solution to the Cyprus dispute, in addition to a fair resolution of the Palestinian conflict.
Al-Sisi said on Tuesday that Greece and Egypt should increase cooperation on economic investments and natural resources, particularly oil and gas.
He also said both nations should seek to exploit the various opportunities presented by the hydro-carbon wealth of the Mediterranean Sea, while increasing links between Egyptian and Greek ports.
One outcome of Al-Sisi's Athens trip so far is an agreement on the establishment of a joint working group to discuss all issues related to bilateral relations.
Tsipras expressed Greece's eagerness to promote investment relations, increase the volume of trade, and take advantage of various opportunities offered by Egypt's various mega-projects, particularly the Suez Canal Area Development Project.
He also affirmed his country's continued support for Egypt, noting its pivotal role in the region and its efforts to promote security and political stability.
The mechanism of cooperation between Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus was, Tsipras said, the starting point for a larger regional cooperation mechanism that could meet the needs and aspirations of people in the region.
Al-Sisi lauded the level of military and security cooperation between both countries, which is based on a shared vision of the nature of the challenges facing the region, according to a presidency statement.
He said Egypt is keen to develop military and security cooperation with Greece, particularly in the face of growing terrorism threats and the refugee crisis, while furthering steps to tackle weapons smuggling and people trafficking.
Al-Sisi is scheduled to meet the Greek defence minister on Wednesday for more detailed discussions on security issues. Egypt and Greece have the same vision regarding the need to unify international efforts to fight against terrorist groups, Egyptian presidency spokesperson Alaa Youssef said.
Regarding regional issues, Greece and Egypt agreed on the need to support the Libyan government and its national army.
Al-Sisi also met his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades in Athens. They agreed on joint efforts to promote maritime transport, trade, and the exploration and extraction of natural resources. They also discussed the development of Egyptian facilities for the importation and liquefaction of Cypriot gas.
Egyptian army chief of staff Mahmoud Hegazi headed to Greece on Wednesday for the Egypt-Greece joint air-naval exercise Medusa 2015.

During the visit, Hegazi will meet with officials in the Greek armed forces to discuss further collaboration, according to a statement released by the Egyptian Ministry of Defence.

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