Omirou Signs Cooperation Protocol with Egyptian Counterpart

13/04/2016
President of the House of Representatives Yiannakis Omirou stressed on April 11 the historic and close relationships between Cyprus and Egypt, noting that they are going through one of the best periods in their history, according to the Cyprus News Agency.

Omirou ends his official visit to Cairo, on April 14, with a meeting with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail. On April 11, he signed a Cooperation Protocol with his Egyptian counterpart Ali Abdel Aal, and held a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Egypt Sameh Soukry.

Relations between Cyprus and Egypt are historic and close, Omirou told a press conference, noting that “nowadays, the relations between the two countries are going through one of the best periods in their history”.
Omirou stressed that the forthcoming tripartite meeting of Cyprus, Greece and Egypt, that will take place in Cairo is of “great importance”.
He noted that cooperation among the three countries covers various fields, such as tourism, agriculture, aquaculture and defence.
The House President stressed that the two countries are cooperating very closely in the field of energy and the exploitation of their natural resources in their respective Exclusive Economic Zones.
Cyprus and Egypt, he said, are factors of stability in a region of tensions, conflicts and destabilisation.
“We are in a very difficult period for the region, with instability in Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen, the refugee flows moving to Europe”.

He added that Cyprus, as an EU member state, can promote the interests of Egypt in the Union and that Egypt has a leading role to play in restoring security and stability in the region.
The House President said that despite numerous efforts to reach a solution to the Cyprus problems based on the principles of the international and the European law, this goal has not been achieved due to the intransigence of Turkey.
“I am optimistic that the Cyprus problem will find its solution but in politics besides being hopeful you have to also be a realist and if Turkey does not change its attitude I cannot express optimism,” he said.
Turkish Cypriots’ willingness for a solution is not enough, he added, noting that Turkey will decide on the issue of the settlers, the abolition of guarantees and the withdrawal of its troops from Cyprus.
He also referred to Turkey’s threats against Cyprus and its sovereign rights in its Exclusive Economic Zone.
Omirou said that Turkey also tried to connect the Cyprus problem to the migration crisis and “blackmailed” the EU. “Our position was very simple, that if Turkey does not fulfil its obligations towards the Republic of Cyprus, as determined the EU, we will not lift the veto over Turkey`s negotiation chapters blocked by Cyprus”.
On April 11, the President of the House met with his Egyptian counterpart Ali Abdel Aal. The two Presidents signed a Cooperation Protocol between the Parliaments of the two countries.
“It is an important day, a historic day for the relations of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus and the House of Representatives of Egypt” said Omirou, after meeting with Ali Abdel Aal in the Egyptian parliament.
He said that he signed with his Egyptian counterpart a Protocol of Cooperation between the two Parliaments, “setting the foundation for the development of multilateral inter-parliamentary relations and the establishment of friendship groups in both parliaments”.
“This parliamentary dimension of the cooperation is expanding the existing tripartite cooperation of Cyprus, Egypt and Greece at government level,” he noted.

Earlier in the afternoon the President of the House had a meeting with the Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Soukry, with whom he discussed the situation in the region, the Cyprus problem, the cooperation of the two countries after the signing of the tripartite cooperation of Cyprus, Greece, Egypt, as well as the Cooperation Protocol signed on Monday between the two Parliaments.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in UN-led talks since May last year, with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.