Meeting of Nikos Dendias with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ statements following his meeting with Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry
My dear friend Sameh,
First of all, thank you so much for your warm words. I feel totally at home here in Cairo and barely a month has passed since my last visit. But what matters most is not the frequency of our meetings, but the strategic partnership we have managed to build between our two countries, which is highlighted both during our discussions, but especially through the signature of two very important Agreements, as you were kind enough to mention.
The Memorandum of Understanding in the Field of Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue, signed earlier in the Ministry of Defence. I would like to highlight a key aspect of the Memorandum of Understanding.
It is based on full respect of International Law and in full accordance with ICAO provisions. By signing this Memorandum of Understanding, our goal is to create a framework of cooperation that will help save precious human lives.
But we are also sending a clear message that our actions are always based on international norms. In no way do we ever try to infringe upon the sovereignty or the sovereign rights of other countries. Contrary to what others in the region are doing on a constant basis.
Just a few minutes ago, another important Αgreement was signed. The Agreement on the Employment of Seasonal Workers in the Agricultural Sector. Signed on our part by the Alternate Minister for Foreign Affairs, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis. This Agreement is key in promoting economic cooperation between Greece and Egypt in a very important sector, agriculture. It promotes legal and regular migration.
In this regard, allow me to express our deep appreciation for Egypt’s continuous efforts to tackle irregular migration. Egypt’s contribution should be recognized not only by Greece, but also by the European Union as a whole.
These two Agreements come on top of another key Agreement we signed together two years ago, in this same building, on the delimitation of our Exclusive Economic Zones. This Agreement constitutes a model of how countries that wish to coexist in a mutually beneficial environment, should cooperate. By respecting the principles of International Law and the International Law of the Sea, enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.
Greece and Egypt contribute, through their exemplary bilateral ties, to promoting stability and security in the Mediterranean. And act as a connecting bridge between the governments and peoples of Europe and Africa.
Another key example is the Euro-Africa interconnector, which will bring electricity from Africa to Europe. We look forward to enhancing this cooperation in other fields, including energy, including of course renewables.
Allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate you on the results of COP 27, which you presided for 20 days. Especially the «Loss and Damage” Fund for Vulnerable Countries, which is a substantial breakthrough. This is something that Egypt and you personally will leave as a legacy for the generations to come.
Today, we also had the opportunity to discuss regional developments, such as the very fragile situation in Libya. I briefed the Minister on my recent visit to Libya. And we both agreed that we look forward to working with an elected and representative Libyan government.
Last but definitely not least, I briefed on the continuation of Turkish provocative statements and actions. Unfortunately, there have been no positive developments on that front since we last met.
My dear Sameh,
It is always such a great pleasure to be in Cairo. Especially on this very important day for the relations of the two countries.
Thank you so much for your kind hospitality.
Ν. DENDIAS (on whether a message could be sent to Turkey, following today’s Memorandum of Understanding):
As I said before, and as the Ministers said, this Agreement is first and foremost an Agreement to save human lives and to cooperate together on how to achieve this. Having said that, it shows that, within the spirit of cooperation and mutual understanding, many Agreements can be signed and many opportunities can be enhanced.
It is clear that countries that cooperate together and have the same reading of the situation can create better understanding of what needs to be done to protect the lives of the citizens; and also the lives of other people that either fly over the Mediterranean, or sail in the Mediterranean.
Photo: official tweeter account GR MFA