Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis confirmed the establishment of a supreme cooperation council between Greece and Egypt in an effort to strengthen the bilateral strategic relationship, after his meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo earlier on Sunday.

The Greek premier and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni arrived in Egypt to accompany European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, along with Austria Chancellor Karl Nehammer, Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides and Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, who all attended the Egyptian-European Summit.

Later reports confirmed that the European Union will provide Egypt with a funding package of 7.4 billion euros in the 2024-2027 period. The funding aims to assist Egypt in stabilizing its economy and reducing its dependence on Russian gas. It also includes a grant to help address the flow of irregular migrants disembarking from the western coasts of North Africa for southern Europe, i.e. Greece and Italy.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi meets with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Cyprus’ President Nikos Christodoulides at the Ittihadiya presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, March 17, 2024, in this handout picture courtesy of the Egyptian Presidency. The Egyptian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS

According to DW, the deal includes five billion euros of macro-financial assistance, 1.8 billion euros of investments and 600 million euros in grants over the next three years to boost the Egyptian economy.

Greece eyes ‘strategic partnership’

On his part, Mitsotakis cited excellent bilateral relations and cooperation in the energy sector, mentioning the GREGY Interconnector interconnection project to connect the countries’ grids.

Furthermore, he emphasized the need for Egypt’s cooperation in managing illegal immigration to prevent the creation of a new migration route from Libya to Crete.

On a European level, Mitsotakis expressed satisfaction with the upgrade of EU-Egypt relations to a “Comprehensive and Strategic Partnership”, as he said.

Finally, he thanked President al-Sisi for organizing a visit to the Siwa Oasis, a historical and cultural landmark given that it was the seat of the celebrated ancient Egyptian oracle of Amun-Ra, which was visited by Alexander the Great in 331 BC.