Egypt’s Sisi ratifies maritime demarcation agreement with Greece

Ahram Online , Saturday 10 Oct 2020

The agreement lays the groundwork for more bilateral cooperation in the energy field

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (Photo courtesy of Presidential Spokesperson)

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi issued on Saturday Decree 444/2020 approving the maritime demarcation agreement between Egypt and Greece that establishes an exclusive economic zone (EZZ) between the two countries.

The presidential decree was published in the official gazette on Saturday. Greece ratified the accord on maritime boundaries with Egypt on 27 August.

The decree stipulates that in case of discovering natural resources, including hydrocarbon stocks, extending from the EEZ of one of the parties to the EEZ of the other, the two parties have to cooperate to reach an agreement on how to exploit these resources.

On 6 August, Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias signed the agreement which, according to Shoukry, "targets tapping into the capabilities available in the Eastern Mediterranean region."

During a joint press conference at the time, Shoukry said that the provisions of the deal are in line with international law and the United Nations Convention On the Law of the Sea.

"The deal permits Egypt and Greece to go ahead with maximising benefits from riches available in the exclusive economic zones of both countries, particularly the promising gas and oil reserves," the Egyptian foreign minister stressed, pointing out that it also paves the way for more regional cooperation between the Egyptian and Greek sides in the field of energy.

The process of negotiating exclusive economic zones between Egypt and Greece was launched over three years ago during El-Sisi's visit to Athens, where he and then Greek prime minister Alexi Tsipras agreed that to help each country benefit from the possible resources of its national waters an agreement needed to be signed.

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