Egypt s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (R) holds a press conference in Cairo with his Greek counterpart, Nikos Dendias, 22 November 2022. Greek foreign ministry
The MoU on aeronautical and maritime search and rescue was signed by Egypt’s Minister of Defence and Military Production Mohamed Zaki and Greece’s Minister of National Defence Nikos Panagiotopoulos, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Greek counterpart, Nikos Dendias, said in a press statement in the Egyptian capital.
Shoukry said the MoU stresses on the diversity of cooperation between both Egypt and Greece in the political, economic, security, and military fields.
The goal of the MoU is to create a framework of cooperation between Egyptian and Greek authorities that will help save precious human lives in danger, Dendias said during the press statement.
The Greek FM affirmed that the MoU was signed with full respect of the international law and in accordance with the provisions of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)
He noted that the signing of the MoU also sends a “clear message that our actions are always based on international norms. In no way do we ever try to infringe upon the sovereignty or the sovereign rights of other countries. Contrary to what others in the region are doing on a constant basis.”
Dendias’s remarks on sovereignty rights come after he and Shoukry expressed rejection of an MoU that Turkey signed with the Tripoli-based government in Libya on energy exploration in Libyan territories.
The deal has deepened the preexisting tensions between Turkey and Greece, which has said that such energy exploration deals infringe on Greek waters.
Shortly after the signing in Tripoli, Shoukry and Dendias affirmed that the outgoing Government of National Unity (GNU), whose mandate in Tripoli has expired, is not authorised to sign any international agreements and MoUs,
The Greek FM also accused Turkey of trying to “take advantage of the turbulent situation in Libya in order to further destabilise the Mediterranean region and establish a regional hegemony.”
In remarks following the signing of the MoU, Dendias emphasised that it “proves once again that the Mediterranean is not - and has never been - a barrier between Europe, Asia, and Africa. On the contrary, it serves as a bridge between the peoples of these three continents.”
Seasonal workers agreement
The agreement on the employment of seasonal workers in the agricultural sector signed by the two countries’ foreign ministries today opens the way for Egyptian citizens to legally work in Greece in support of the Greek economy, Shoukry said during the press statement.
He added that the agreement can be later extended to include economic sectors other than agriculture.
Dendias hailed the agreement as “important” as it promotes economic cooperation between Egypt and Greece in a very important sector and also promotes legal and regular migration.
Shoukry said his meeting with Dendias today discussed regional and international issues of concern, including the impact that the Russia-Ukraine crisis has on food and energy.
He affirmed that Egypt and Greece seek to achieve stability and security in the East Mediterranean and to face various challenges, including irregular migration.
Over the past few years, Egypt and Greece have intensified bilateral cooperation – especially in the political, energy, economic, and military fields – and, with the inclusion of Cyprus, trilateral cooperation.