King Abdullah II of Jordan was meeting Wednesday in Athens with the leaders of Greece and Cyprus as part of regular high-level contacts launched between the three Mediterranean countries in 2018.
Greece is seeking to expand its economic and military cooperation with countries in the region, wary of ongoing rivalry with neighboring Turkey over mineral rights in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
“Today’s summit reflects our countries’ commitment to promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the wider region. It will give us the opportunity to pave the way for a faster coordination of our actions for the benefit of our peoples and for the benefit of the wider region,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in his introductory speech at the tripartite summit at the Zappeion Mansion.
The prime minister noted that progress has been made since the first summit in 2018 as the three countries have expanded and deepened their cooperation in a wide range of areas. He stressed that the three countries are determined to expand their partnership, strengthen their cooperation and further promote their coordination on political and economic issues, but also in the field of security.
“Our partnership has never lost its momentum, not even during the Covid pandemic. We managed to maintain our cooperation active and to create a series of working groups. In light of the unprecedented challenges and the enormous impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the social, economic and health systems, we firmly believe that we need to further accelerate our coordination and promote even more synergies in areas of common interest in order to maintain the dynamics and to strengthen this very successful cooperation,” he underlined.
Mitsotakis added that they will discuss a number of issues, including EU-Jordan relations, but also how Greece and Cyprus can contribute to their further strengthening.
“We will also have the opportunity to discuss extensively regional issues of common interest, such as the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, Libya and Syria, the Middle East in general,” he added.
“As far as the Cyprus issue is concerned, we will have the opportunity to discuss the recent unacceptable developments which are contrary to the Security Council resolutions, and in the light of the very important Presidential Statement of the Security Council of 23 July,” he underlined.
King Abdullah, in opening remarks ahead of the talks Mitsotakis and President Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus, said: “We look forward to seeing how we as three countries could tap into many opportunities, whether it’s trade, food security, tourism, energy, agriculture, water, the environment, health care and investment.”
In his opening remarks, President Anastasiades said: “I have no doubt that we will once again generate our joint commitment to work together in order to achieve our common goals of promoting peace, stability, security and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. As we also share the same commitment to counter the common threats of terrorism and violent extremism, we all agree in enhancing our cooperation, including through the key platform, the Aqaba Process, that Your Majesty established.”
Wednesday’s meeting was delayed by 15 months due to the pandemic.