New initiative launched to deepen between Europe, Arab world

A new initiative aiming to deepen cooperation between Europe and the Arab world in various important fields was launched in Athens.

The Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Cyprus (Nikos Christodoulides), Egypt (Sameh Shoukry) and Greece (Nikos Dendias), along with their counterparts of Bahrain (Abdullatif bin Rashid Alzayani), France (Jean-Yves Le Drian), Saudi Arabia (Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud) and the Minister of State for International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates (Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy) participated in the 1st Philia Forum, also known as Friendship Forum, on Thursday.

The aim is to deepen cooperation in a series of areas, from diplomacy and the economy to the management of the Covid-19 pandemic, energy and innovation, Xinhua news agency quoted Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis as saying said while addressing the inaugural meeting.

“The enhancement of cooperation among this new group serves the common interests of our countries, promoting prosperity. The initiative is open to all, without turning against anyone,” he said.

In a joint statement released after the meeting, the participating Ministers said that they exchanged views on issues of common interest and concern, with the aim of further strengthening cooperation and actively contributing to the consolidation of peace, stability and security in the wider region.

“In this context, we reiterated our common adherence to International Law, including the UN Charter, UN Security Council Resolutions and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to which we are all signatories,” said the statement.

“We stressed our strong commitment to fundamental principles enshrined therein, such as the respect of the sovereignty, sovereign rights, independence and territorial integrity of states, the peaceful resolution of differences and rejection of threat or use of force, the non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs and the freedom of navigation,” they added.