CAIRO, (BM) – “Egypt and Greece signed a maritime demarcation agreement last week in a development that has broad economic and mainly geopolitical and defense significance,” a major Cairo newspaper reported, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing Pentapostagma.
More than a dozen rounds of negotiations took place before the signing of the agreement demarcating the maritime border between Egypt and Greece on August 6, which defines the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between the two countries.
“The agreement is important for Greece and Egypt,” explained Egyptian oil expert Ramad Aboul-Ella.
“It could also mean exploiting new gas fields, after the Zohr one that was discovered in 2015. This is particularly important as there are those who want to ‘soil’ our financial waters,” Abul-Ela said. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who “wants to stick his nose where it does not belong” underlines.
“First, he [Erdogan – ed.] is an invader in northern Syria and Iraq and now he is pirate in the Mediterranean,” he said, echoing the general view that prevails in Egypt about R.T. Erdogan.
In November last year, Turkey and the Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya Fayez Al-Sarraj signed a memorandum of understanding on maritime borders in the Mediterranean Sea.
“Their shores are not opposite, though,” Abul-Ela said.
UNCLOS is an international convention adopted in 1982 that allows a state to extend the EEZ coast to 200 nautical miles (370 km). However, if the sea distance between two countries is more than 424 nautical miles, the exclusive economic zone can only be defined through bilateral agreements between two coastal states.
But Turkey has not signed UNCLOS.
“By concluding an agreement with Al-Sarraj, Turkey is trying to get a share of the rich natural gas resources in the Eastern Mediterranean,” said oil expert Ibrahim Zahran.
However, “since he has not signed the 1982 treaty, he can do what he claims, but only international law will prevail in the end,” he added.
“In addition, Egypt is well-equipped militarily to protect its maritime economic interests from any breach,” he concluded.
“Egypt’s agreement with Greece threatens Turkey’s plans and on Monday Turkey announced that its research vessel Oruc Reis and two auxiliary ships would carry out exploratory drilling from 10 to 23 August,” the Egyptian expert said.
In recent years, Egypt, Greece and Cyprus have strengthened their cooperation, especially in the field of energy, helping each other to make the most of their resources.
For example, the three countries signed a framework agreement on a power connection project through Crete.
Egypt and Cyprus have also agreed to build a gas pipeline that will allow gas to flow from the Cypriot Aphrodite field to the Egyptian liquefaction plant at Idku and Damietta, where it will be re-exported as liquefied natural gas.
In 2018, the three countries became the cornerstone of the Mediterranean Gas Forum, which includes all countries producing and importing gas in the region and transit countries.
All this leads to the creation of a defense agreement with jointly selected aeronautical forces that safeguard these agreements.
There is no other way, there is no other way, and this is exactly what Erdogan is trying to prevent by initially confronting Greece with challenges, in order to cancel these plans.
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