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Greek FM visits Egypt in lead-up to Saudi Arabia visit

Foreign ministers from Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and adviser to the president of the UAE Anwar Gargash hold a press conference in Paphos on Friday. (AFP)
Foreign ministers from Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and adviser to the president of the UAE Anwar Gargash hold a press conference in Paphos on Friday. (AFP)
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19 Apr 2021 12:04:37 GMT9
19 Apr 2021 12:04:37 GMT9
  • Diplomatic move by Athens against backdrop of Libyan situation, tension with Turkey

Muhammad Abu Zaid

CAIRO: Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias arrived in Egypt on Sunday during a tour leading up to a visit to Saudi Arabia. It comes within the framework of a diplomatic move by Athens against the backdrop of the situation in Libya and tension with Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean.

Dendias tweeted on Saturday: “Yesterday I was in Cyprus to participate in the quartet meeting with Emirates, Israel and Cyprus, and I will go tomorrow to Cairo, and on Tuesday to Saudi Arabia, while I will participate on Monday in the European Council meeting.”

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry held talks with Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias on his arrival in Cairo. They dealt with the bilateral ties between the countries and ways of enhancing them, in addition to the trilateral cooperation between Egypt, Greece and Cyprus, and regional and international issues of common concern.

Last February, foreign ministers participating in the “Friendship Forum” in Athens, which included Egypt, Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Greece and Cyprus, in the absence of Jordan, stressed the importance of stability in the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Participants said that “discussion of confronting provocative acts and violations in the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean was held.”

Saudi Arabia and Greece carried out a joint air exercise, “Eye of the Falcon 1,” in Crete, with the aim of refining and developing the skills of the air crew and technical division, and raising the combat readiness of their air forces. This was in addition to exchanging military expertise in the implementation and planning of air operations.

Greek and Turkish disputes over maritime rights continue in the eastern Mediterranean region, with each side claiming encroachment on their maritime areas, while Arab countries condemn what they describe as Turkish military intervention in several Arab countries such as Iraq, Libya and Syria.

The two ministers held a consultation session in Cairo to address common regional issues.

The Greek foreign minister tweeted through his official account on Twitter that he and his Egyptian counterpart discussed bilateral relations and developments in the eastern Mediterranean.

Spokesperson for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Ahmed Hafez, said that the talks between the two ministers dealt with issues of bilateral cooperation and regional issues that were a priority for both countries.

The Greek minister’s visit is the second in less than a month and a half. He is discussing with Egyptian officials bilateral cooperation and reviewing the latest developments within common political files, most notably the eastern Mediterranean, Libya, as well as Syria.

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