12 Apr Cyprus and Lebanon negotiate EEZ delineation agreement
On the 11th April 2019, the Cyprus Foreign Minister, Mr. Nicos Christodoulides and the Cyprus Energy Minister, Mr. Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, met with the Lebanese Foreign Minister, Mr. Gebran Bassil and the Lebanese Energy Minister, Mr. Nada Boustani, in Lebanon, to begin negotiations regarding the delineation agreement of the Exclusive Economic Zones and the development of hydrocarbon reserves, between the two parties (http://www.philenews.com/eidiseis/politiki/article/685272/kypros-kai-libanos-diapragatevontai-symfonia-ga-aoz).
Addressing the above, Mr. Christodoulides stated that the energy sector is the “spearhead” for creating new relations in the region, particularly since energy giants, such as ExxonMobil, have “expressed interest in the Republic of Cyprus’ EEZ”, following Glaucus-1 gas discovery, on the 28th February 2019 (https://www.offshoreenergytoday.com/exxon-makes-gas-discovery-at-glaucus-1-well-offshore-cyprus/).
The Cyprus Foreign Minister, visited Beirut, for the first official tripartite Ministerial meeting, on Wednesday, 10th April 2019, between Cyprus, Greece and Lebanon, together with his counterparts from Lebanon, Mr. Gebran Bassil, and from Greece, Mr. Georgios Katrougalos (http://www.ekathimerini.com/239448/gallery/ekathimerini/in-images/greece-and-cyprus-bolster-relations-with-lebanon).
This signifies the official start of the “trilateral journey” between the three countries, whereby the cooperation will be based on a productive framework of interaction, which would be beneficial for present and future generations (https://in-cyprus.com/cyprus-to-host-first-trilateral-summit-between-leaders-of-cyprus-greece-and-lebanon-later-this-year/).
Mr. Christodoulides announced that Cyprus would host the first trilateral summit between the leaders of Cyprus, Greece and Lebanon, later in 2019 (https://cyprus-mail.com/2019/04/10/first-cyprus-greece-and-lebanon-summit-planned/).
Most importantly, Mr. Christodoulides conveyed, to his Lebanese counterpart, the decision to establish a Permanent Secretariat in Nicosia, with the objective of advancing the effectiveness and coordination with the tripartite cooperation mechanism, with a vision to make the Eastern Mediterranean a region of peace, security and cooperation. This is also related to the fact that Cyprus has regional trilateral partnerships with Greece and Egypt, and with Greece and Israel, signifying a unity and cooperation between countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The purpose of the meeting was to lay the groundwork for enhancing cooperation in the sectors of tourism, education, the economy and trade and strengthening the European Union’s relations with Lebanon and bilateral relations (http://www.ekathimerini.com/239448/gallery/ekathimerini/in-images/greece-and-cyprus-bolster-relations-with-lebanon).
The Cyprus Foreign Minister declared that Cyprus would continue to work and assist in further strengthening relations between the EU and Lebanon (https://cyprus-mail.com/2019/04/10/first-cyprus-greece-and-lebanon-summit-planned/).
According to the Lebanese National News Agency (NNA), the Greek Foreign Minister also stressed the significance of tripartite cooperation among Cyprus, Greece and Lebanon, in order to revive the Silk Road (https://greekcitytimes.com/2019/04/11/greece-cyprus-and-lebanon-sign-agreement-on-sports-and-tourism/).
The three ministers, proclaimed the importance and value of the tripartite cooperation mechanism, and reaffirmed their strong commitment to further expand and deepen their countries’ cooperation.