Egypt, Greece talks on eastern Mediterranean before Athens summit

Special Egypt, Greece talks on eastern Mediterranean before Athens summit
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis speaks during a joint news conference with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece, November 11, 2020. (REUTERS)
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Updated 12 February 2021

Egypt, Greece talks on eastern Mediterranean before Athens summit

Egypt, Greece talks on eastern Mediterranean before Athens summit
  • A diplomatic source said that the seven-day meeting was seeking to crystallize a common vision to deal with eastern Mediterranean gas, in addition to cooperation between the countries in light of regional and international changes

CAIRO: Egypt and Greece have discussed coordinating positions on developments in the eastern Mediterranean region.

This came during a meeting between Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias in Athens.

“The two ministers discussed ways to develop bilateral relations in line with what was agreed upon during the official visit of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to Greece in November 2020,” said Ahmed Hafez, a spokesman for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.

The two sides also discussed supporting mutual investment between the countries and overcoming obstacles that might face their companies. They also discussed cooperation in the field of energy.

Shoukry expressed Egypt’s appreciation for Greece’s ratification of the founding charter of the EastMed Gas Forum.

The talks were ahead of a summit in Athens on Thursday of the foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, Bahrain, Greece and Cyprus, under the title Friendship Forum, to discuss developments in the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.

FASTFACT

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry expressed Egypt’s appreciation for Greece’s ratification of the founding charter of the EastMed Gas Forum.

A diplomatic source said that the seven-day meeting was seeking to crystallize a common vision to deal with eastern Mediterranean gas, in addition to cooperation between the countries in light of regional and international changes.

According to the source, the foreign ministers are meeting to achieve a number of goals, most importantly to deliver an early message to the new US administration that these countries have rules and principles for operating in the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.

The source told Al-Sharq that the participating countries had a different vision from the Turkish approach in the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East.

The source said that this vision comes at a time when signs of the Turkish dispute with the administration of the US President-elect Joe Biden are evident.

The countries aim to build a strong position to contribute to stopping Turkish practices described as hostile toward some nations in the region. This is in terms of Turkish actions in the eastern Mediterranean or interference in the affairs of some participating countries and their neighboring countries — in a way that affects their security and stability.