Officials from Greece, Cyprus and Israel met in Washington on Friday to discuss economic engagement as part of an ongoing US-backed regional cooperation initiative dubbed 3+1.
In a declaration, the officials said their previous March 20 summit, attended by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is part of their joint commitment to promote peace, stability, security and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Washington meeting was hosted by Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Manisha Singh and attended by Cyprus Ambassador Marios Lysiotis, Greek Charge d’Affaires Theodoros Bizakis and Deputy Head of Mission of Israel to the United States Benjamin Krasna.
“The officials discussed economic tools to address shared economic and economic-related national security issues,” the US State Department said in a statement.
“The officials committed to maintain lines of communication between the United States and the trilateral mechanism parties on these and other economic-related issues, and to explore the potential for expanded collaboration,” it added.
On the heels of the Washington meeting and amid heightened tensions with Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias heads to Jerusalem on Sunday for talks with his counterpart Israel Katz, President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Greek-Israeli cooperation through bilateral and trilateral schemes of cooperation, energy security and Ankara’s illegal actions in the region.
During his visit, Dendias will also pay his respects at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum memorial and meet members of the Association of Greek Holocaust Survivors.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Friday accusing the United Nations of ignoring a recent proposal by the Turkish Cypriots to the government of Cyprus to share the island’s hydrocarbon reserves.