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Politics

Egypt Will Give Greece 5,000 Farm Workers, Migrant Deals Signed

November 23, 2022

CAIRO – Greece will be provided 5,000 Egyptian seasonal workers to help till the fields under an agricultural pact and the two countries signed a memorandum on agreements in aeronautics and maritime search and rescue.

The collaboration between the countries is getting closer after they agreed to work together in energy research in the seas to offset Turkey’s intention to hunt for oil and gas in the wider area.

Greece’s Foreign Ministry the deal for farm workers in Greece – where they have sometimes been exploited – could be a guide for future agreements signed by Greece and the European Union with other countries to slow unlawful immigration.

“We hope the first Egyptian workers will be in the Greek fields to help harvest the next crop early next year,” Deputy Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said after signing the deal with his Egyptian counterpart Ihab Nasr in Cairo, reported Reuters.

Egypt and Greece signed two bilateral deals in Cairo on Tuesday, November 22, 2022. (MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS PRESS OFFICE/EUROKINISSI)

The Egyptian farm workers will have the right to enter and stay in Greece for up to nine months before returning home but it wasn’t said if the deal would affect farm workers from other countries coming into Greece.

Greece and Egypt signed an accord in 2020 designating their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Eastern Mediterranean to search for alternatives to Russian supplies exempted from EU sanctions over the invasion of Russia.

They have been also looking to build an undersea cable that will carry power produced by renewables from North Africa to Europe, the first such infrastructure in the Mediterranean, the news agency said.

The aeronautics and maritime memorandum was by Greece’s National Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos and Egypt’s Defence Minister Mohamed Zaki, said Greece’s state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency AMNA.

Egypt and Greece signed two bilateral deals in Cairo on Tuesday, November 22, 2022. (MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS PRESS OFFICE/EUROKINISSI)

The signing was attended by Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias and Alternate Foreign Affairs Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis to show the significance of how Greece views its relationship with Egypt.

In statements, Dendias said that the agreement aims to save human lives that are in danger at sea through the cooperation of the two countries’ authorities but didn’t mention Greece being accused of pushing back refugees and migrants.

He stressed that it’s not putting up a barrier between Europe, Asia and Africa. “It is a bridge between the peoples of these three continents,” he added and that it was “setting an example to other Mediterranean countries.”

He also met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and said they discussed “The long standing Greece-Egypt strategic relations, developments in Eastern Mediterranean, Libya and the Middle East,” revealing nothing.

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