Greece, Cyprus and Egypt decided to step up energy cooperation during their tripartite meeting in Cairo on Saturday. The Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said, following the meeting, that this was one that all three leaders “owed to history.
Mr. Samaras and his counterparts – Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi – focused mainly on the signing of the Cairo Declaration that commits the three sides to increasing their efforts to carve out maritime zones as they believe the discovery of hydrocarbons could benefit cooperation in the Eastern Meditteranean.
The declaration states: “To this direction, we place emphasis on the ecumenical character of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea and we have decided to speed up the negotiations for the delimitation of maritime zones where this has not yet been defined.”
All three countries called on Turkey to respect Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) after a Turkish research vessel entered the area last month. “We have stressed the importance of the respect of sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus in its EEZ and we urged Turkey to terminate all seismic exploration within the maritime zones of Cyprus and to avoid similar activities in the future,” says the declaration.
Turkey has already complained about the Cairo declaration to Athens, Cairo and Washington. Furthermore, Ankara asked for a stop to hydrocarbon exploration that Cyprus is conducting in its EEZ says Cypriot Fileleftheros newspaper.