Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis discussed over the phone on Wednesday evening a number of regional issues of mutual interest with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, including energy and cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean.
In fact, Mitsotakis has prioritised relations with Egypt as a cornerstone of his foreign policy.
According to a statement released by Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady and republished in English by Ahram, El-Sisi stressed to Mistsotakis the “distinctly strong” ties between the two countries and their “consistency” in regional issues and stances.
Of particular interest for El-Sisi was boosting cooperation with Greece
President El-Sisi expressed his hope to Mitsotakis that he wants a boost of cooperation with Greece, particularly in economic, energy, security, and military fronts.
For his part, Mitsotakis stressed continued trilateral cooperation with Cyprus.
Both countries are working hard to counter Turkish unilateralism and aggression in the East Mediterranean, including in Libya.
In August, the two East Mediterranean countries signed a maritime demarcation deal to establish an Exclusive Economic Zone.
According to Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, the deal “permits Egypt and Greece to go ahead with maximising benefits from riches available in the exclusive economic zones of both countries, particularly promising gas and oil reserves.”
The Greek-Egyptian deal is based on the United Nations Charter Law of the Sea, something in which Turkey is only one of 15 countries in the whole world to not sign or ratify.
Many of those who have not signed or ratified the customary law Treaty are landlocked countries.
The agreement between Greece and Egypt effectively cancelled the illegal Turkey-Libya deal to steal Greek maritime space which has received no international support.
Despite flourishing Greek-Egyptian relations, Turkey is attempting to create a rift by falsely promoting through its state-controlled media that Ankara and Cairo are on the verge of signing a maritime deal at the expense of Greece.
As the Jerusalem Post noted, Ankara uses its pro-government media in English to spread its latest fake news story.
“Turkey could sign deal with Egypt on maritime zone,” says a headline at Anadolu, a state run media arm.
“Greece worried as Egypt acts in line with Turkish EEZ in EastMed,” says Daily Sabah, another pro-government organ.
“Is Egypt warming up to Turkey’s proposition in the Eastern Mediterranean?” asks state-controlled TRT in Turkey.
However, as the Israeli outlet highlighted:
“THERE IS no evidence that Ankara and Cairo could sign a maritime deal and it would be odd for Egypt to suddenly reverse years of being on course with Greece and Cyprus to get involved in a deal that negates Cyprus’s economic claims and harms Greece.”
“Turkey is talking ‘reconciliation,’ but most countries that have long experienced being threatened, slandered, insulted and even terrorized by Ankara’s current ruling party regime, know that there is no reconciliation,” the Jerusalem Post noted.
As a source told Al-Arabiya, Egypt will only enter maritime demarcation negotiations with Turkey if Greece and Cyprus are involved in the process.