Greek PM Mitsotakis in Cairo for Greece-Egypt-Cyprus Business Deals

FILE - Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis waits to welcome U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Hoping to build an alliance against growing Turkish incursions in the Aegean and East Mediterranean, Greek Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis was headed to Cairo Oct. 7 to take part in a tripartite meeting with the leaders of Cyprus and Egypt.

Highest on the agenda was energy talks with the three countries joining as Turkey has sent drill ships into Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone to drill for oil and gas in areas where the legitimate government has licensed foreign companies, including the US’ ExxonMobil, to hunt.

As part of talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Cyprus’ Nicos Anastasiades, Mitsotakis will be signing agreements on investment cooperation, but also to stress the importance of cooperation between neighbors as a cornerstone of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, said Kathimerini and the state-run Athens Macedonia New Agency ANA-MPA.

Also set to be discussed, reports said, was the collapsed Cyprus reunification talks that fell apart in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinic said a 35,.000-strong standing army on the northern occupied third would never be removed.

Mitsotakis will also be meeting with representatives of the Greek community of Cairo, while his trip also includes a visit to Alexandria and a meeting with Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Theodore II.

He will be accompanied on his trip by the ministers for Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias, Environment and Energy Kostis Hatzidakis and Culture Lina Mendoni, as well as by the head of Enterprise, Greece business program Georgios Filiopoulos.