At Trilateral Summit, Jordan, Cyprus and Greece agree to expand cooperation in vital fields


Published: 2019-04-15 09:11

Last Updated: 2024-07-03 22:14

At Trilateral Summit, Jordan, Cyprus and Greece agree to expand cooperation in vital fields
At Trilateral Summit, Jordan, Cyprus and Greece agree to expand cooperation in vital fields

His Majesty King Abdullah, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agreed during their Trilateral Summit on Sunday at Al Husseiniya Palace to expand cooperation between the three countries in vital sectors including energy, agriculture, tourism, health, education, trade, investment, and ICT.

The three countries also agreed to encourage their respective private sectors to establish joint projects that capitalise on available trade opportunities, while bolstering expertise and knowledge exchange.

Jordan, Cyprus, and Greece affirmed the importance of maintaining coordination on issues of mutual concern, in service of common interests and with the aim of achieving peace and bolstering security and stability in the region.

The Trilateral Summit reaffirmed support for King Abdullah’s efforts, as Hashemite Custodian, to safeguard Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem and preserve the legal and historical status quo in the city.

In addition, the Summit covered the peace process, reiterating support for a comprehensive, just, lasting and negotiated solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on the two-state solution, international law, relevant UN resolutions, and the Arab Peace Initiative, that guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 4 June 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel.

In remarks at the first round of the Trilateral Summit, His Majesty welcomed President Anastasiades and Prime Minister Tsipras, noting that since last year’s first Trilateral Summit, the partnership has moved in the right direction.

The second Trilateral Summit, the King said, is an opportunity to move beyond the political relationship to cover economic, security and cultural ties.

His Majesty voiced hope that the joint business forum, held in parallel to the Summit with the participation of business leaders from the three countries, would prove successful.

The King noted renewable energy, agriculture, tourism, and transport as some key sectors for cooperation.

His Majesty highlighted the role of Cyprus and Greece in overcoming regional challenges, noting efforts to move forward on the two-state solution and the peace process, as well as addressing challenges in Iraq and Syria.

The King also pointed to Cyprus’s and Greece’s support for Jordan’s efforts to safeguard Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.

“This is something that is close to all our hearts,” His Majesty said, commending the important role of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Jordan.

Thanking the King for the hospitality, President Anastasiades said the meeting “reflects the importance we attach to further expanding and deepening our synergies to the benefit of our countries, our peoples in the region as a whole”.

“The signing of the memoranda of understanding in the field of education, and between our respective investment promotion agencies, as well as the first trilateral business forum taking place today, constitute important developments in fully exploring the important opportunities between our countries,” the Cypriot president added.

“I believe that the decision we have taken to establish a permanent secretariat in Cyprus will serve the further development of our trilateral mechanism, with the aim of ensuring that both its potential and momentum are fully exploited and utilised,” he said.

President Anastasiades said the three countries share a common belief in the need to achieve political solutions to regional crises in accordance with international law, “and in full respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of states, as well as of good neighbourly relations”.

The three countries also share the same position that addressing the effect of the refugee crisis and migration flow requires solidarity and responsibility sharing, he noted.

“In this respect, I wish to assure Your Majesty that we will continue working with our EU partners so that Jordan is supported both politically and economically in addressing the consequences of the refugee crisis, and the heavy burden this places on its economy, structure, and society,” President Anastasiades said.

“In parallel, we will continue to actively advocate for the strengthening of EU-Jordan relations, including engaging more on regional and foreign policy issues,” he added.

President Anastasiades also spoke about the latest efforts to resume negotiations on the Cyprus problem to reach a lasting solution.

For his part, Greek Prime Minister Tsipras said the Summit “highlights the determination to strengthen our partnership with a strategic perspective for the region”.

“Jordan is a country with which we have strong historical and cultural ties. Jordan is a country that constitutes one of the most important forces of stability in the region as well as of peace and coexistence in our broader region,” he added.

Greece and Cyprus, as “frontline EU countries in the region”, realise that “challenges that have to do with security or refugee flows in the Middle East are challenges for Europe as a whole,” Prime Minister Tsipras added.

“Your crucial role in Syria, and your crucial role in supporting Syrian people; your crucial role in the Middle East peace process, and your role as Custodian of the Islamic and Christian shrines in Jerusalem; or your role in confronting terrorist networks and extremism—it is very important for global and regional developments,” he said, addressing His Majesty.

The prime minister said Greece will increase coordination to strengthen EU-Jordan relations and “to support peace in Syria, and a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine living in peace, based on the borders of 1967, with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.”

Noting the potential for business and economic cooperation between the three countries, Prime Minister Tsipras said the business forum held on the sidelines of the Summit offers an opportunity to bolster cooperation in construction, energy, tourism, education, and ICT.

Discussions at the Trilateral Summit’s second round covered means to advance economic cooperation, and also addressed the outcomes of the first Summit.

The third round covered developments in the Middle East and the importance of achieving peace and stability in the region.

Regional and international efforts to counter terrorism within a holistic approach were also discussed.

Moreover, His Majesty, President Anastasiades, and Prime Minister Tsipras witnessed the signing of two trilateral memorandums of understanding on cooperation in investment and education.

Earlier on Sunday, the King held bilateral and expanded talks with President Anastasiades on means to enhance cooperation and partnership between Jordan and Cyprus, as well as regional developments.

His Majesty and the Cypriot president, in the presence of the Greek prime minister, witnessed the signing of a bilateral agreement between Jordan and Cyprus on cooperation in fighting terrorism, organised crime, illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors, illegal migration and other criminal offences.

A memorandum of understanding between Jordan and Cyprus on research and technology was also signed.

Also on Sunday, the King held bilateral and expanded talks with Greek Prime Minister Tsipras, which covered opportunities for further cooperation and regional issues.

At the conclusion of the Jordan-Cyprus-Greece Second Trilateral Summit, which was attended by senior officials from the three countries, the following declaration was released:

We, Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, the King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus, and Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic”, having met in Amman today, 14 April 2019, have agreed to strengthen the trilateral cooperation between our countries in order to promote a partnership in various fields of common interest, and to work together towards promoting peace, stability, security and prosperity in the region, and we have agreed to build on the outcomes of our first trilateral Summit, which took place in Nicosia on 16th January 2018.

Since our first trilateral summit, significant progress has been achieved in various fields of cooperation. In the meantime, much potential remains untapped and it is important to focus our attention on such areas in order to maximize the return from our cooperation, to our joint benefit.

We agree that the core values of our trilateral cooperation are the respect for international law and for the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter including: the maintenance of international peace and security, respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of States, the prohibition on acquisition of territory by force, development of friendly relations among nations and the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means.

We also stress the importance for the respect of the sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction each State has over its maritime zones in accordance with international law.

We strongly reaffirm our support for a comprehensive, just, negotiated and lasting settlement of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict based on the two- state solution and in accordance with international law, relevant UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative. We maintain our common position that the status of Jerusalem, the holy city of the three monotheistic faiths, must be determined within the framework of a comprehensive solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that guarantees the establishment of an independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian state on pre- June 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital living side by side with Israel.

We emphasize the relevant United Nations’ Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on the status of Jerusalem.

We reaffirm our support to the endeavors of His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, the Custodian of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, in safeguarding such sites and preserving the legal and historic status-quo therein, and in accordance with the declaration of the 1st Summit of the League of Arab States (LAS) and the European Union (EU) member states held on 24-25 February 2019 in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt.

We reaffirm our steadfast support to the ongoing efforts for the resumption of the negotiating process, under the Good Office Mission of the UN Secretary General, for a just, comprehensive and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem, in line with the relevant United Nations Resolutions, international law, and the principles upon which the European Union is founded. We stress the indispensable role of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) in ensuring peace and stability in line with the United Nations purposes and principles as enshrined in the UN Charter. We commend the efforts of the President and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus to reach a solution that will reunify the island and safeguard Cyprus’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. We underline that a comprehensive settlement would not only benefit the people of Cyprus, but also significantly contribute to peace and stability of the region.

Jordan is at the frontline of the fight against terrorism and as such, we express resolute support to Jordan’s efforts to counter this phenomenon in a holistic approach, particularly to the key platform that His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein established through the Aqaba Process Initiative, which offers for collaborative exchanges, consolidating the global front against terrorism and preventing violent extremism. In this context, and further to the 3rd Rhodes Ministerial Conference for Stability and Security, which took place in June 2018, we welcome the upcoming 4th Rhodes Ministerial Conference, to take place on 27-28 June 2019.

We commend the holding of the first European Union - League of Arab States (LAS) Summit, which took place on the 24th and 25th of February 2019 in Egypt, and opened the door to deepen cooperation on shared strategic priorities including security threats, regional crises, climate change , migration and refugees.

We express our commitment to the unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Syria. We emphasize the need for a political solution to the conflict and in accordance with UNSC resolution 2254 that would enable the voluntary return of Syrian refugees and all IDP’s to their homes. We extend our full support to the new UN envoy to Syria and his efforts in the framework of the Geneva Process.

We reaffirm the responsibility of the international community to manage the refugee crisis on the basis of the principles of solidarity and equitable burden-sharing, and we appreciate the role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for hosting over 1.3 million Syrians. We acknowledge the instrumental role of the EU in supporting Jordan to overcome the crisis, thus helping the achievement of stability and security in the region. We also underline the crucial role of Greece with regard to the reception and accommodation of the refugees and appreciate the humane treatment of the refugees in the country. Cyprus’ efforts to provide reception and hosting to disproportionate number of refugees are also acknowledged.

We underline the importance of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation and highly value the role of the Union for the Mediterranean. Under joint EU-Jordan chairmanship, the UfM has gained traction in promoting the common interests of the countries of the region.

We express our support to the new Government of Iraq and its endeavors to uphold the unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of the country. We recognize in that respect, the great sacrifices borne by the Iraqi people which culminated in the commendable territorial defeat of Da’esh in Iraq. In this regard, we also express our support to the laudable efforts of the Iraqi government to be able to meet the needs of its people, through immediate stabilization ventures, which seek to prevent any political or security vacuum from emerging in the liberated areas- where reconstruction must commence and IDP’s return. In that respect, we welcome the participation of the foreign minister of Iraq in the meeting of our foreign ministers today preceding this summit, and we positively note the decision of our foreign ministers to meet with the foreign minister of Iraq in Baghdad in the near future.

We positively note the recent trilateral meeting of our Foreign Ministers which was held in Nicosia on December 19, 2018, and we agree that the Foreign Ministers forum serves as a trilateral consultation mechanism on foreign policy issues, to achieve our common goal of peace, security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and wider region.

We reviewed the progress achieved in the sectors endorsed at the first Trilateral Summit namely: renewable energy resources and energy efficiency, agriculture management of water resources, aquaculture, tourism, merchant shipping, health and the protection of antiquities. We express our commitment to intensify cooperation in such sectors, while exploring opportunities for cooperation in other fields of mutual interest.

We welcome the signing of the trilateral “Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Education for 2019-2022” which will lead to the exchange of experts between our three states, and enhance our trilateral cooperation in the areas of environmental education, sustainable development and information communication technology, as well as to establish direct links and cooperation between our higher education institutions.

We also welcome the signing of the trilateral “Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between Jordan Investment Commission (JIC), Enterprise Greece S.A. and “Invest Cyprus” aiming at strengthening investment relations and improving the business and trade environment.

We believe that the large gas discoveries in the offshore fields of the eastern Mediterranean will have a major impact on the energy sector and economic development in the region and can serve as a catalyst for regional stability and prosperity. Based on such discoveries, we welcome the holding of the first meeting of Ministers of energy which took place in Cairo on January 14, 2019, where the Ministers established the “East Mediterranean Gas Forum” (EMGF), as a forum for all states in the region, to support the efforts of its members - both producers and consumers - to benefit from gas reserves and infrastructure in order to secure their energy needs.

We reiterate the significance of the “Council of Europe Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property”, the “Nicosia Convention”, which focuses on the criminalization of the illicit trafficking of cultural property, and we underline the importance of protecting the cultural heritage of the Eastern Mediterranean, and emphasize our resolve to counter looting and illicit trafficking in cultural property especially in armed conflict areas. Furthermore, the trilateral Agreement on the Prevention of theft, clandestine excavation and illicit import, export or transfer of ownership of cultural property and the promotion of its restitution, which was signed on 16 January 2018, bears testimony to the importance our countries attach to these issues.

We reaffirm our willingness to continue our solid cooperation in the context of International Organizations; especially within the UN system and we also reaffirm the importance of closer cooperation and policy coordination on various international issues.

We acknowledge the high importance of collaboration between our parliaments in the framework of our trilateral cooperation. In this regard, we welcome the 1st trilateral meeting of the Speakers of the Cypriot, Greek and Jordanian parliaments, scheduled to take place at the Dead Sea, Jordan on 15th of April 2019 as an additional important step towards enhancing relations and cooperation between our states.

We welcome the holding of the joint Business Forum in Jordan on the sidelines of this trilateral summit which will enable us to witness significant development and progress in various business sectors (tourism, energy, ICT), and provide a chance to discuss further means of expanding the existing economic and commercial relations between the three countries, and introduce Jordan as a hub for the private sector to access the Iraqi market.

We shall encourage and develop the existing positive environment of economic cooperation between our countries with the aim of promoting trade exchanges and attract investment in various sectors.

We shall facilitate the organization of trade missions, conferences, forums and exhibitions; as a platform of interaction among the representatives of the private sector in our countries, to support the establishment of joint ventures capitalizing on the indispensable business opportunities provided by our economies, as well as foster the transfer of knowledge and exchange of expertise to enhance the competitiveness of our economies and ensure a better global integration.

We agree to explore the possibility of our cooperation to include our diaspora and expatriate communities, through the implementation of specific initiatives involving them, with particular emphasis on youth.

We emphasize the importance of our trilateral cooperation and we agree to establish a Permanent Secretariat in Nicosia, which will anchor and facilitate this cooperation in order to realize its full potential, to the benefit of our countries and peoples, and of our region. In that respect, we agree to appoint a national coordinator in each country for our trilateral cooperation. Furthermore, we agree to institutionalize high-level interagency discussions on foreign, defense and security policy in addition to launching a ministerial trilateral cooperation forum involving the ministers of finance and trade.

We agree that the next trilateral Summit will be held in Greece in 2020.