Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi arrived in Nicosia on Wednesday to participate in a trilateral summit with Cyprus and Greece.
Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady said the trilateral summit is meant to consolidate the special ties between the three countries and exchange viewpoints regarding challenges that face the East Mediterranean region.
The 8th tripartite summit is held amid tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean region over Ankara s hunt for gas in the region in violation of the territorial waters of Greece and Cyprus, two close allies of Egypt.
Last week, Turkey said it will restart operations of a survey ship that it withdrew in September, further straining possibility of talks.
The summit also aims at following up on the progress made by the previous seven trilateral summits and following up on joint projects implemented under the tripartite mechanism, Rady added.
The previous summits, held since 2014, have mainly focused on bolstering joint cooperation in gas exploration and committing to maintaining the security and stability of the region, especially energy corridors. They also tackled cooperation to curb illegal migration.
The summits culminated in the signing of several memorandums of understanding in the fields of investments, customs cooperation, education and small enterprises.
Joint agreements were signed in tourism, maritime transport and fish farming.
The tripartite summits led to the formation of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) in January 2019, establishing a vital platform that brings together gas producers, consumers and transit states to boost a sustainable regional market for gas.
The forum’s members are Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, and Jordan.
The signing of the EMGF’s charter between the energy ministers of the six countries last month came amid angry response from Turkey over Egypt and Greece signing a maritime demarcation deal in August establishing an exclusive economic zone between the two countries.