CAIRO / ATHENS (dpa-AFX) – After years of negotiations, Greece has now also concluded an agreement with Egypt on the definition of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Mediterranean. The foreign ministers of the two Mediterranean countries, Nikos Dendias and Samih Schukri, signed the paper on Thursday in Cairo, according to the Egyptian foreign ministry.
The agreement is seen as a reaction to similar cooperation between Turkey and Libya. In the agreement with Tripoli in November Turkey had denied Greece any right to such an EEZ south of Crete and other Greek islands where rich natural gas reserves are suspected. The EU condemned this and created a legal framework for sanctions against Turkey.
The dispute intensified when two weeks ago numerous ships of the Turkish navy appeared in the G sharp and in the eastern Mediterranean south of the Greek islands of Rhodes and Crete. According to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s announcement, Turkey wants to search for natural gas “as soon as possible”. Ships of the Greek Navy are also on the move in the region.
With the agreement between Egypt and Greece, a line is now practically drawn through the Libyan-Turkish zone. Because the new Greek-Egyptian zone decided on Thursday is largely identical to it. Turkey had also forged the alliance with Libya because it felt excluded from other neighbors such as Greece in the dispute over resources in the Mediterranean.
An exclusive economic zone is an agreement on the law of the sea that regulates the use of stretches of sea and the exercise of sovereign rights between states. Athens is also trying to reach an EEZ agreement with Albania. At the beginning of June Greece had also signed such an agreement with Italy./tt/DP/fba