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Greece and Egypt Stress Need to Avoid Tensions in the Med

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Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi meeting in Cairo. Credit. PM’s press office.

Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi agreed to the need to avoid new tensions in the eastern Mediterranean during their meeting in Cairo on Monday.

Mitsotakis stressed the need to avoid “new adventures in our neighborhood,” referring indirectly to the tensions caused by Turkey and its attempt to conduct gas exploration in Greek waters.

The Greek Premier said that “the partial delineation of the maritime zones (with Egypt) is an example of bilateral cooperation and a positive model for the region.

The deal, signed on August 6, 2020, designates an exclusive economic zone in the eastern Mediterranean, which in turn gives the two countries rights over natural resources in the region.

The agreement he said produced “a fait accompli of peace and legality in the East Mediterranean.” This, he expects, will later be expanded to include the remaining width of the shared maritime areas.

Greece, Egypt agree on Cyprus

Mitsotakis said they discussed the Cyprus issue – for which the Greek Premier thanked President Sisi for Egypt’s consistent support toward a resolution of a bizonal bicommunal federation, as well as developments in Libya, especially the withdrawal of all foreign forces for the country’s stability.

They also discussed Greek-Turkish relations.

Al Sisi, Mitsotakis said, shared Greece’s displeasure that Greece was not invited to the next Berlin Process meeting on Libya, taking place on Wednesday, while Greece supported Egypt in its concerns over the stable water supply of the Nile River waters.

A new environmental and energy agreement the two countries signed during this visit is a step serving both peoples’ prosperity, he said, referring to a underwater cable linking the two countries’ electricity. He said the cable will transfer to Greece and Europe the electric power that has been produced entirely by renewable sources.

Egypt stressed need for respect of international law

“Between Greece and Egypt there are deep ties of friendship, and the two peoples first came into contact 3,000 years ago,” President Sisi said after their meeting. In recent years collaboration on economic and military levels – either bilaterally or with Cyprus – has become more intense, he added.

Among the issues they discussed, Sisi said, were furthering economic relations and tourism collaboration, and they exchanged views on regional development.

He underlined the need for respect of International Law and the principle of non-intervention in other countries’ domestic affairs in the region, and said it was necessary to boost trilateral collaboration among Greece, Egypt and Cyprus.

Mitsotakis is in Egypt by invitation of Sisi, who paid a visit to Athens seven months ago, diplomatic sources said, and is part of Greece’s efforts to improve bilateral cooperation.

Earlier, Mitsotakis visited Egypt’s Monument to the Unknown Soldier, where he laid two wreaths, one at the Monument to the Unknown Soldier and one at the tomb of its assassinated former President, Anwar Sadat.

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