Author: Aya Samir
Posted on: Egypt Today| November 21st, 2017
CAIRO – 21 November 2017: Egypt, Greece and Cyprus gave the international community a model for successful international relations and cooperation between countries, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said during a meeting with the Cypriot parliament head in Nicosia Monday, describing the unique relations between the three governments.
Egypt’s, Greece’s and Cyprus’s relations are strong and historical according to Sisi’s statements during his two-day official visit to Cyprus that started yesterday morning. The visit that marks a first for an Egyptian president to Nicosia included more than several meetings between Sisi and some of the state’s senior officials.
It included attending the fifth Egyptian-Greek-Cypriot tripartite summit in which several topics were tackled, including coordination between the three countries, as well as enhancing the relations in the political, economic, trade, security and tourism fields.
The first tripartite summit between Egypt, Greece and Cyprus was held for the first time in Cairo in 2014, and then in Nicosia in April 2015. The third summit was in Athens and the fourth was in Cairo in 2016.
The relations between Cairo and Nicosia date back to 1960 according to the State Information Service (SIS). Both countries have supported each other internationally in more than one occasion, including supporting each other’s candidacy for the membership of various committees within the United Nations.
Egypt also was among the first countries that declared recognizing Cyprus’s independence. Former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and former Cypriot President Makarios III enjoyed friendly relations during the sixties.
In September 2014, President Sisi met with his Cypriot counterpart on the sideline of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Several topics were discussed then by the two leaders, along with announcing both countries’ support for each other’s cause and political strategies.
The volume of trade between Egypt and Cyprus has increased to €41.3 million between January and July 2017 compared to €29 million during the same period last year, with a growth rate of 42.4 percent.
According to SIS, Cyprus participates with $1.07 billion in shares in more than 163 Egyptian companies, mostly in the tourism sector.
In October 2012, both Egypt and Cyprus signed an agreement in the field of oil and gas exploration, especially on the border zones of both countries.
During Sisi’s last visit, several new agreements were signed between the two parties including Memoranda of Understanding in health affairs, security issues, tourism and communications.
One of the oldest political relations between two countries in the world; relations between Greece and Egypt date backs to the establishment of Alexandria city even before Alexander the Great.
In 2017, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry visited Athens three times; other senior Greek officials visited Cairo in 2015 and 2016 including Prime Minster Alexis Tsipras and President Prokopios Pavlopoulos.
Greek investments in Egypt are estimated to be $3 billon, which places it in the fifth position on the list of highest European investments in Cairo. These investments are expected to multiply five times during the coming period according to SIS.
Several agreements are signed between both countries in various fields including maritime transport, economy, social insurance, the promotion and protection of investments, scientific and technological cooperation along with new and renewable energy.
During the tripartite summit that was held Tuesday, the Egyptian, Cypriot and Greek leaders signed cooperation agreements in the tourism field.