On Wednesday, the Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi stated that bilateral relations with Greece are significantly progressing. He noted that the maritime border demarcation agreement signed this year reflects the strength of relations between the two countries.
During his meeting with Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou in Athens, El-Sisi added that Egypt stands by Greece against any provocative actions. This is in reference to the Turkish exploration activities in the eastern Mediterranean.
The meeting dealt with a number of regional issues of common concern, particularly the combat against illegal migration and terrorism, achieving interfaith coexistence, and supporting peaceful solutions to regional crises. “Views were also exchanged regarding combating terrorism and extremist ideology as President El-Sisi reviewed Egypt’s efforts in this regard over the past years.”
The two leaders agreed to intensify the exchange of experiences and information between the two countries in order to face the challenges posed by this cross-border phenomenon.
Notably, Greece has recently accused its NATO ally Turkey of “threatening peace” in the eastern Mediterranean. This is after Ankara resumed its oil and gas exploration near the Greek island of Kastellorizo. The Greek Foreign Ministry said that Turkey’s decision to deploy a seismic research ship constituted a “new serious escalation”, and “exposed Turkey’s destabilising role.”
Since May 2019, Turkey has been carrying out gas exploration work with “permission” from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. This has taken place in the waters of the internationally recognized Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus.