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GreeceDendias, Shoukry: Consistent Athens-Cairo collaboration prevents crises in the East Mediterranean

Dendias, Shoukry: Consistent Athens-Cairo collaboration prevents crises in the East Mediterranean

Hellenic News of America
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At a time when “geopolitical balances are fragile, bilateral relations remain stable, becoming increasingly stronger,” said Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias on Tuesday, in joint statements with his visiting counterpart of Egypt Sameh Shoukry.

Moreover, he noted at a press conference, the continuous and close cooperation between Athens and Cairo yields many positive results towards avoiding tensions and crises in the region.

Greece’s relations with Egypt were described by Dendias as historic and strategic, noting that these have reached their highest level in the last four years, starting in 2020 when the two foreign ministers signed in Cairo the agreement on the delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs).

Referring to bilateral trade, Dendias said that its rise reflects the excellent Greek-Egyptian relations, as the value of trade between the two countries has exceeded 2 billion euros, making Egypt one of Greece’s most important partners.

Dendias then underlined the strategic importance of the Greek-Egyptian electricity power project, “GREGY Interconnector”, the EastMed Gas Forum, as well as the memoranda signed in Cairo in June 2022 between the EU and Egypt, and also those by the EU and Israel.

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Regarding EU-Egypt relations, Dendias welcomed the adoption of the new priorities of the EU-Egypt partnership 2021-2027, and underlined that Greece participated and contributed by highlighting Egypt’s strategic role in the broader region.

All these agreements highlight the significance of the Eastern Mediterranean region as an alternative energy route, Dendias noted. Greece aspires to play the role of an energy hub for the broader region, and wishes to create green corridors that will connect the north with the south, linking the electrical systems of Europe with those of North Africa and the Middle East.

Talks also raised anew the importance of the cooperation schemes of Greece, Egypt and Cyprus, and of Greece, Egypt, Cyprus and France (3+1).

The two foreign ministers also placed special emphasis on the environment and on tackling climate change, with Dendias congratulating Egypt for the excellent organization and substantial results of the United Nations COP27 climate summit. He also expressed the two countries’ joint decision to work together during the incoming COP28 Presidency by the United Arab Emirates, in the lead-up to COP 28 in Dubai later in 2023.

In the context of joint actions for environmental protection, Dendias briefed Soukri on Greece’s organization of the ‘Our Ocean Conference’ in 2024, and invited Egypt to actively participate: “Egypt’s role is particularly important for the protection of the Mediterranean,” he said.

Furthermore, Greece and Egypt have agreed on the mutual support of their candidacies for the UN Human Rights Council, for the periods 2028-2030 and 2026-2028, respectively, he noted.

Dendias also referred to the Greek foreign policy’s active role in the greater region and its participation in efforts to seek solutions to issues concerning the international community. Related to that, he said, Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen will arrive in Athens on April 21 for a meeting of all representatives of EU states on Syria, before Pedersen travels to Damascus.

Finally, Dendias and Shoukry discussed issues relating to defence and migration.
Shoukry’s Athens visit will culminate in an official dinner hosted in his honor by FM Dendias on Tuesday evening.

Shoukry

Greece and Egypt’s relations are of strategic importance, visiting Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Tuesday, adding that they are founded on consistent values and on the principles of good neighborly relations and International Law.

At a joint press conference after his meeting with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias and the delegations concluded their extended talks, Shoukry said that Greece and Egypt entered talks with full commitment to and respect of International Law and the Law of the Sea (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea). In their talks, he noted, each of the two sides can see the other side’s viewpoint, and this helps discussion. Both countries aimed at the need for security in the Middle East and further afield, he added.

The collaboration with Greece in defense and security, Shoukry said, is based on full trust, which helps expand relations. “We aim to have strategic studies, but also to be human, and this is what will guarantee their long-term development and well-being,” the Egyptian FM said.
Greece and Egypt will support each country’s candidacy in international organizations, “based on mutual trust, without any exchange”, something that will continue, he underlined.

Shoukry emphasized the importance of the electric power interconnector from Egypt to Greece and from there to Europe, and the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, and, on other issues, expressed Egypt’s particular appreciation of the trilateral collaboration with Greece and Cyprus, while also highlighting Egypt’s partnership with the EU.

He further said that in his upcoming visit to Türkiye, Egypt will continue to work on improving relations on the same basis as with other countries, including non-intervention in domestic issues of other countries and avoiding actions that would affect the region negatively.

Egypt’s FM reiterated his country’s support for a viable and just solution on the Palestinian issue based on the founding of two countries, and working to ensure democratic elections in Libya, as the country should restore its unity.

SOURCE; ANA-MPA

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