Greece: Mitsotakis and El-Sisi discuss deepening of bilateral relations

Greece: Mitsotakis and El-Sisi discuss deepening of bilateral relations

The President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Abdel Fatah El-Sisi is paying an official visit to Greece, where he had meetings with the President of the Hellenic Republic Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday, while on Thursday he will have a meeting with the President of the Progressive Alliance, Alexis Tsipras.

During the joint statements of the Egyptian President and the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis characterized the tripartite cooperation between Greece, Egypt and Cyprus as the foundation of peace, stability and prosperity.

The Greek Prime Minister described the Greek-Egyptian relationship as an “example of peace and cooperation”, “culminating in the recent agreement of 6 August on the partial demarcation of the maritime zones and our common intention to continue the consultations, so that the agreement can be extended”, he added. In fact, he stressed that this agreement, after 15 years of consultations, “constitutes the best example that, when we proceed in accordance with international law, the rules of good neighborliness and mutual respect that should govern neighboring countries, this is for the benefit of the people us”.

Referring to the EastMed pipeline, the Greek Prime Minister praised the role of Egypt in its establishment and noted that “any country can participate in the pipeline, provided that it abstains from provocations and respects international law”, adding that he was clearly referring to Turkey. Kyriakos Mitsotakis also stressed that Greece and Egypt are parallelly trading partners with common strategic goals and soon, with the reforms that are being promoted, they will become even more attractive investment destinations.

The Greek Prime Minister also described the role of Egypt as important in the migration issue and in particular in stopping  migration flows from North Africa, characterizing the country as an “advanced ally of Europe”, while referring to its participation in the peace agreement in Libya, noting that the treaty derived mainly due to Egypt’s involvement. “It remains to implement the withdrawal of any foreign power with the first provision in mind”, he said, emphasizing Egypt’s role in normalizing relations between the Arab world and Israel, continuing in the footsteps of Anwar Sadat since the 1970s and creating “a positive dynamic in the region that brings the final solution closer to the Middle East, in the context of the UN resolutions”. He also referred to Egypt’s solidarity with Greece and Cyprus in resolving the Cyprus issue in the context of the UN resolutions, stressing that the end of the Turkish occupation would not only signal the healing of a decades-long wound, but would contribute to overall peace prevailing in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Finally, the Greek Prime Minister pointed out the important role of Egypt “as a beacon of moderate and authentic Islam, especially in times like today, when certain forces are trying to invest their geopolitical expediencies in a religious cloak”. He referred to the anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein, which he described as the starting point for the liberation of Europe. “Among the fighters, there were thousands of Greeks, who commenced their battle from Egypt. Our countries have always been together. Back then in war, today in peace and tomorrow in development and prosperity”, Kyriakos Mitsotakis concluded.

For his part, the Egyptian President began his remarks with condolences for the victims of the recent earthquake in Samos, stressing that Greek-Egyptian relations strengthen the development of the two countries and today’s meeting was an occasion for the exchange of ideas on how relations between the two countries can be deepened in all areas. He pointed out that, lately, policies are being developed in the wider region that are contrary to international law and that is why Greece and Egypt agree to face together those who threaten peace, and will strengthen each other in the field of defense.

Referring to the agreement on the partial demarcation of the EEZ, El-Sisi stressed that it was conducted on the basis of international legitimacy and constitutes a leap in cooperation between countries at sea, while for EastMed he said that all partners welcome anyone else who wants to participate in the pipeline project, as long as legality is respected.

Regarding the Cyprus issue, he said that he expects a fair solution in line with international rules, while for Libya he stressed that the solution should be political and bring peace and stability to the region, always in accordance to the UN regulations and with the necessary condition of the disbandment of armed forces, the avoidance of foreign intervention and the confrontation of the terrorists who, as he said, are being transferred to Libya. Mr al-Sisi said there was an urgent need to tackle international terrorism and hold accountable countries that support it and equip or encourage terrorists, adding that it is a world-wide non-religious or racial phenomenon, underlining that insulting any religion cannot be tolerated. /ibna