Increasingly close and strategic-themed relations between Greece and Egypt were on the forefront on Monday in Athens during talks between Greek Foreign Affairs Minister George Gerapetritis met with his Egyptian FM counterpart Sameh Shoukry.

The meeting comes ahead of an inaugural bilateral supreme council of collaboration, agreed to by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Egyptian President Fatah El-Sisi in Cairo last March.

In ticking off a “laundry list” for Egypt and his counterpart, Gerapetritis again reminded that Athens considers the country a pillar of security in the eastern Mediterranean and a leading force in the Arab world. Along those lines, he also reminded that Athens is actively promoting the signing of an EU-Egypt comprehensive strategic and partnership agreement.

Gerapetritis also again cited the landmark agreement of 2020 to delimitate exclusive economic zones between Greece and Egypt in the east Mediterranean, an extremely important development for Athens given the revisionist and provocative actions by Turkey during the same period to try and legitimize its deal with the provisional Libyan administration in Tripoli.

“This is an example of good-neighborly relations and of correct implementation of the International Law of the Sea,” Gerapetritis said, while citing the burgeoning trilateral cooperation (including Cyprus) in the energy transport field.

Another project he cited was the GREGY project to connect the Egyptian power grid with Crete and mainland Greece via an undersea cable.

Lasty, on the burning issue of illegal migration, Gerapetritis said Egypt currently hosts more than nine million migrants and refugees from third countries, whereas a recent bilateral agreement eyes the prospect of Egyptian workers arriving in Greece and working legally in the commercial fishing, construction and agri-business sectors.


On his part, Egypt’s Shoukry also underlined the volition of both sides to boost bilateral ties and define a shared future, with the promotion of the supreme council meeting a highlight.

The Egyptian FM also pointed to the importance of the undersea power interconnection in linking Egypt’s grid with the EU and thanked the Greek side for its support within the EU.

Fielding a question over illegal migration, Egyptian FM Shoukry replied that “…since 2016, no boat has left Egypt’s shores illegally due to the efforts of our coast guard and authorities…the international community, however, has not offered Egypt the necessary help.”