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Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ statement following his meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry (Athens, 30 July 2019)
It was a great pleasure to welcome the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the friendly country of Egypt, Sameh Shoukry.
Our meeting was very constructive, as always. Greece and Egypt are, after all, linked by long-standing traditional ties of friendship.
Mr. Shoukry and I had a very useful exchange of views on bilateral issues, trilateral issues – our cooperation with Cyprus – and regional and international issues. We attach special importance to strengthening our already very good cooperation with Egypt; cooperation that is a foundation for the future.
Both sides place emphasis on the optimum use of energy resources. We are endeavouring to create better conditions for this.
On the regional level, we obviously discussed the flagrant violation of the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus that is being perpetrated by Turkey.
Turkey’s illegal actions flout international law and jeopardise the region’s security. As such, they are absolutely deplorable.
I expressed to my friend the Foreign Minister of Egypt the satisfaction of the new Greek government with the clear and responsible stance maintained by his country on this issue.
We are living in a very unstable region, and the challenges in our region are being intensified by Turkey's systematic violation of international law, the Law of the Sea and the principles of good neighbourly relations.
Furthermore, I want to stress the important mediating role played by Egypt in promoting the Peace Process, promoting intra-Palestinian reconciliation, stabilising the situation in Libya, and combating international terrorism.
We agreed on the need to strengthen the efforts being made to deal with regional challenges and combat terrorism in all in its forms and from any source.
On these issues, our governments are working tirelessly, each one separately, but also together, with the objective of peace, development and prosperity for the peoples of the wider Southeast Mediterranean region.
Greece attaches great importance to cooperation between all like-minded states of our region.
And it is in this context that I recently visited Israel and Cyprus. I have already met with my Italian counterpart once and I intend to meet with him again in the coming future.
I also briefed Mr. Shoukry on the meeting I had this morning with our Cypriot counterpart and friend, Nikos Christodoulides – with whom Mr. Shoukry himself will meet tomorrow in Nicosia – and we talked about the need to enhance our trilateral cooperation mechanism.
I would like to take this opportunity to stress, once again, that for Greece there is no solution to the Cyprus problem without the elimination of the anachronistic system of guarantees and the complete withdrawal of Turkish occupation troops from the island. And this was one of the strong messages sent by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ visit to Cyprus.
Finally, I thank Mr. Shoukry very much for visiting Athens so soon, and I look forward to continuing our constructive cooperation for the benefit of our peoples and our countries.