Strengthening EastMed relations

Wednesday 20 Oct 2021

President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi flew to the Greek Capital Athens on Tuesday to attend the ninth trilateral summit between Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus.

Greece Cyprus Egypt
Greece Cyprus Egypt

During the summit, the three countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) covering energy cooperation. Last week, during the minister of electricity and renewable energy’s visit to Athens a MoU was signed to build an undersea cable connecting the Egyptian and Greek power grids. An almost identical MoU was signed between Egypt and Cyprus on Saturday, which will see the two countries exchange up to two gigawatts of electricity.

The memoranda are all part of the Euro-Africa $4 billion interconnector project, an electricity highway connecting the national grids of Egypt, Cyprus and Greece via a 1396km submarine cable.

The summit also saw the initialling of an agreement between the three states covering immigration.

This week’s summit will build on the achievements of earlier summits, says Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady.

The ninth trilateral summit is part of a cooperation mechanism launched in 2014 between Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus. The summits quickly turned into a broad alliance fostering cooperation across a range of economic, political, and strategic interests.

During the sixth summit in Crete in 2018 the three countries decided to establish the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF). Headquartered in Cairo, EMGF also includes France, Italy, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel as members.

During this week’s summit, President Al-Sisi held bilateral meetings with the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades to discuss economic and trade relations, and regional files of mutual concern.

The 10th tripartite summit is scheduled for December.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 21 October, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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