Egypt’s Foreign Minister and Greece’s Foreign Minister met on Sunday in Cairo in response to controversial gas and maritime arrangements signed by Turkey’s rival, Libya’s leader. Officials say the meeting was in response to the controversial maritime and gas deals that Turkey signed with Libya.
In recent years, Cairo and Athens have worked together to develop energy resources, battle terrorism, and sign new maritime boundary accords with Cyprus. These are just some of the areas in which they have deepened their ties.
Nikos Dendias, the foreign minister of Greece, stated at a press conference that he and his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shukry, had focused their discussions on the memorandums of understanding between Turkey and Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, the leader of one of the two competing governments in divided Libya. He said that these kinds of agreements were bad for the peace and safety of the whole region.
The agreements, which were signed last week in Tripoli, the capital of Libya, cover the collaborative exploration of hydrocarbon reserves in Libya’s offshore waters and national territory. According to Dendias, the transactions violated Greek law because they took place in Greek territorial seas.
In the meantime, the Egyptian Foreign Minister stated that the government of Dbeibah does not have the right to negotiate such treaties because its mandate has expired due to the fact that Libya was unable to organize statewide elections in December of the previous year. He said that the United Nations shouldn’t stay quiet about whether or not the way Dbeibah is run is legal, and he asked the organization to take a clear stand on the matter.
Before the talks between Turkey and the Dbeibah government, it had been three years since Ankara and a previous Tripoli government came to a difficult agreement. That agreement in 2019 provided Turkey with access to a controversial economic zone in the gas-rich eastern Mediterranean Sea. So, it made the tensions between Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, and Egypt over drilling rights in the area worse.
According to Dendias, the two ministers also discussed recent events in the Aegean Sea. He was talking about the trouble that has come up with Turkey because Greece is thought to have sent hundreds of US-made armored vehicles to the islands of Samos and Lesbos in the Aegean Sea. Shortly after the news broke, both Turkey and Dbeibah’s government remained silent.