Egypt’s Sisi signs strategic maritime agreement with Greece

Egypt’s president ratified on Saturday a maritime deal setting its Mediterranean Sea boundary with Greece and allowing for both countries to seek maximum benefit from the resources available in an exclusive economic zone, including oil and gas reserves, AP reported.

The Athens-Cairo agreement is seen as a response to a Nov. 2019 accord signed between Turkey and Libya, which grants the former access to areas in the region where large hydrocarbon deposits have been discovered.

The Ankara-Tripoli maritime deal was dismissed by Egypt, Cyprus and Greece as infringing on their economic rights in the waters.

The Athens-Cairo deal, signed by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, was published by the official gazette on Saturday, AP said.

Sisi’s ratification of the deal arrives two months after the Egyptian and Greek foreign ministers signed the deal in Cairo. Turkey has rejected demarcation of the maritime borders agreement between Cairo and Athens, considering it null and void.

Tensions stemming from Turkey's deployment of vessels to search for oil and gas off Cyprus peaked in August, when Turkey sent the Oruç Reis into waters claimed by Greece to search for oil and natural gas.