Egypt Denies Double Dealing Greece Over East Med Energy Hunt


FILE- FM Dendias with Egyptian counterpart Shoukry. (Photo by Eurokinissi)

Greece’s earlier deal with Egypt over setting Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ’s) in the East Mediterranean for energy research is reportedly still intact after diplomatic sources in Cairo denied dealing with Turkey, which wants to drill too.

Without naming them, the Arab News website said that Egypt is committed an agreement with Greece that was made to counter Turkey’s arrangement with Libya, dividing the seas between them, Turkey claiming waters around Greek islands.

“The Egyptian side is sticking to its position rejecting the maritime agreement signed between the Libyan Government of National Accord and Ankara,” the sources said, according to the report.

“Egypt’s respect for the maritime borders of the Mediterranean countries is not new and Turkey’s attempts to claim that the two countries have negotiated is incorrect,” the sources said.

That came after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu suggested Turkey had been invited to negotiate a maritime demarcation agreement with Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean, leading Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias to schedule a visit to Cairo.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also discussed cooperation in the East Mediterranean after the report Egypt might be double dealing or switch sides under pressure.

Egyptian presidential spokesman, Bassam Radi, said that the call between the two officials discussed the energy hunt plans, the site also reported, and that El-Sisi wanted to deal in other areas, including security.

Turkish Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin expressed his country’s desire to restore relations with Egypt back in October, 2020 as Turkey is apparently trying to calm waters while hunting for oil and gas in waters claimed by Greece too.

While Egypt has demarcated its borders with Greece, El-Sisi ratified an agreement signed on Aug. 6, 2020 between the Egyptian and Greek governments regarding the designation of the EEZ.

In 2019, Cyprus, Greece, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Italy and the Palestinian territories held the EastMed Gas Forum without Turkey, the site also noted.