Greece, Cyprus, Egypt to strengthen cooperation

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (L) shakes hands with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (C) and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades during the trilateral summit on Crete island, Greece, on Oct. 10, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

Greece, Cyprus and Egypt signed agreements for collaboration in education, business and small and medium sized enterprises, customs and border technology, as well as the promotion of investments during a trilateral summit hosted on Crete island on Wednesday, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.

In joint press statements after the talks at the seaside resort town of Elounda, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stressed that enhanced collaboration would benefit their countries' people and the wider regional development and stability.

On the agenda of discussions were common challenges such as energy security and the migration-refugee crisis.

"Balance in the Mediterranean, Middle East and West Africa cannot exist without Egypt. Tackling terrorism and controlling refugee flows from Africa cannot happen without Egypt," Tsipras said after the meeting regarding Egypt's role.

Greece fully supports the holding of an EU-Arab League summit in Egypt in February and the establishment of discussion of strategic EU-Egypt relations, the Greek leader said.

"We clearly expressed our support for Cyprus in its efforts to exercise its sovereign rights under international law with respect to its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), against any third-country threat, and stressed the importance that this drilling has for the entire Cypriot people, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots," he added, regarding the boundaries for oil and gas exploration rights in the Mediterranean Sea.

Greece and Egypt also agreed on Wednesday that technical talks between the two countries on delineating their EEZ must be wrapped by the end of the year, AMNA reported, citing government sources.

According to the same sources, the leaders also discussed developments concerning the construction of the East Med gas pipeline to Europe.

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