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Greece and Egypt Sign Agreement on Exclusive Economic Zones

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry along with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias sign the agreement in Cairo, Egypt on Thursday. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt handout

Greece and Egypt signed an agreement regarding their exclusive economic zones on Thursday, according to the Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

From this point onward, there will be an exclusive economic zone, or EEZ, between the two Mediterranean countries, according to the foreign minister, who spoke at a signing ceremony in Cairo with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

The agreement was inked as Mediterranean nations continue to grapple with ongoing incursions by Turkey into the EEZ’s of Cyprus and several Greek islands. There is widespread tension in the area as Turkey has repeatedly sent its oil and gas drilling ships into the seas atop the continental shelves of Greece and Cyprus during the last year.

In November of last year, Turkey signed a widely-discredited agreement with the recognized government of Libya which supposedly claimed much of the Eastern Mediterranean as their joint maritime zone, including an area just off the southern shores of Crete.

The bilateral agreement was almost universally criticized by the United States, the European Union, Egypt and Russia, as well as Field Marshal Khalifa Belqasim Haftar, the popular rival of the Libyan leader who signed the deal.

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