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Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and France issue joint statement emphasizing Law of the Sea

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The Foreign Affairs Ministers of Greece Nikos Dendias, of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides, of Egypt Sameh Shoukry and of France Jean-Yves Le Drian issued a joint statement after wrapping up their quadrilateral meeting in Athens on Friday.

Here follows the four-points statement:

1. Following up on our first meeting, held in January 2020 in Cairo, and its results and final communique, we, the foreign ministers of Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and France, met in Athens on November 19, 2021, to discuss the recent developments in the region, in light of the multifaceted challenges affecting peace, stability and security.

2. We referred to the excellent relations among our respective States, in full accordance with international law and the law of the Sea, and stressed the strategic nature of our relationship, which lays the solid foundations for advanced cooperation in multiple fields.

3. Our views converged in relation to addressing security and stability and we discussed ways to enhance our cooperation and to continue to work together to achieve our common objectives in the different fields including energy, climate change, combating the covid-19 pandemic and migration.

4. In conclusion, we affirmed the priority should be given to the advancement of peace and stability, both regionally and globally, and to comprehensive economic development we all aspire to, in full conformity with the existing legal multilateral framework.

Dendias remarked how it is unfortunate that although nearly two years have passed since the ministers’ previous meeting in Cairo, the same issues are still currently relevant.

“The challenges we face in the Aegean, in the Eastern Mediterranean, in Libya are still the same, and the common denominator of most of them remains Turkey. It continues to threaten Greece with war and to violate our sovereignty and sovereign rights, to illegally occupy territory of the Republic of Cyprus, to violate rights in sea zones, to support the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The instrumentalization of migration now finds imitators in Belarus, he added, “while it [Turkey] maintains military forces and mercenaries in Libya, and insists on the non-existent and illegal Turkish-Libyan memorandum.”

He did clarify, however, that the foreign ministers’ Friday meeting in Athens was not held against Turkey, and he pointed out that Greece “wants good relations and a constructive dialogue, but always in the context of International Law and the Law of the Sea.”

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