The publication of the Egyptian Official Gazette opened the text of the agreement to demarcate the maritime borders between Egypt and Greece opened the door to many questions regarding the deliberate ambiguity and secrecy for more than two months, especially as it turned out that the agreement was partial and not complete, in contrast to what was reported in the Egyptian media that described the agreement as a knockout blow to Turkey in Eastern Mediterranean region.
The agreement included two surprises, the first being “a partial delineation of the maritime boundary between Egypt and Greece,” and that “the appointment will be completed, where appropriate, after point” A “and point” E “(E) through consultations.
The second surprise is that the agreement included a clause allowing for future amendment if one of the two signatories entered into negotiations with “other countries that share sea areas with the two parties. Before that party – before reaching a final agreement with the third country – the first party must notify and consult with him.”
The Egyptian media did not comment on the content of the text of the agreement, which was revealed for the first time, and opened the door to the possibility of modifying the maritime borders between the neighboring countries of Egypt and Greece, such as Turkey and Libya, and only published the news of President Sisi’s ratification and published it in the Official Gazette.
The partial Egyptian-Greek agreement comes in the context of a similar agreement signed by Turkey and Libya in November 2019 to define the maritime borders between them, which angered Cairo and Greece, and at the time they expressed their rejection of it altogether.
The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced its rejection of the Greek-Egyptian agreement, and said in a statement that “there are no maritime borders between Greece and Egypt,” stressing that “the so-called maritime jurisdiction areas delineation agreement signed between Egypt and Greece is invalid for Turkey.”
But Ankara has confirmed more than once that its problem is with Greece and not Egypt, which has not encroached on Turkey’s maritime borders, and has also reiterated that Egypt’s interest requires demarcating the borders with Turkey, because this gives Cairo more space in the region rich in energy reserves.
Last June, Mada Masr said, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Egyptian General Intelligence Service are pressuring the Egyptian president to quietly accept the maritime agreement between Turkey and Libya, as it would grant Cairo a huge maritime advantage in the stalled maritime negotiations with Greece.”
Last December, Al-Jazeera Mubasher published exclusive documents revealing that Sisi ignored the Egyptian Foreign Ministry’s recommendation to reject the Greek proposal to define the maritime borders, especially that Greece’s adherence to its vision leads to the loss of 7 thousand square kilometers of its economic waters, and also affects Egypt’s eligibility to determine the borders in the future With Turkey.
On September 19, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed that there were talks with Egypt in this regard.
In response to a question about the existence of contacts with Egypt regarding defining the areas of maritime authority between the two countries, the Turkish president said that “there are many different developments here, for example, holding intelligence talks with Egypt is different and possible, and there is nothing to prevent that, but its agreement.” We are sad with Greece. “
On the other hand, rapprochement efforts continued between Turkey and Greece in the same month, and the Greek government said that there is a possibility of communication between the Turkish president and the Greek prime minister, at a time when the European Commission welcomed the resumption of negotiations between the two countries.
Former member of the National Security Committee in the Egyptian Shura Council, Muhammad Jaber, affirms that “the maritime borders between Egypt and Greece cannot be completely demarcated, given the existence of countries with common borders with the two countries, namely Turkey and Libya.”
Speaking to Al-Jazeera Net, Jaber added that any demarcation cannot be finalized until after demarcation between the four countries: Egypt, Turkey, Libya and Greece, due to the existence of common borders between all of those neighboring countries, which was alluded to in the text of the agreement.
The former Egyptian parliamentarian concluded that thus the door remains open for demarcation, and even the demarcation between Egypt and Greece becomes temporary, because in the event of demarcation between Turkey and Greece, the demarcation agreement between Egypt and Greece may become worthless.
For his part, Essam Abdel Shafi, a professor of political science and head of the Academy of International Relations, said that Sisi is maneuvering in all the political files that he deals with, and I think that all his statements and positions, or even the statements and statements made by his arms, are inaccurate.
Speaking to Al-Jazeera Net, Abdel-Shafi stressed that it is very possible that there will be secret annexes to all international agreements and treaties that he has signed, as happened in Tiran and Sanafir, and as happened in the Declaration of Principles on the Renaissance Dam.
He added that Mubarak had reservations about signing with Greece, because he knew the extent of the dispute between it and Turkey in the common areas, and he was keen on his relations with the two countries, but Sisi, unlike Mubarak, could give up everything, just to preserve the legitimacy of his regime in the face of his supporters. Among them, Greece is the most important card for his pressure against Turkey.
Abdul Shafi concluded by saying: Therefore, it is not necessary to bet too much on the issue of partial or total demarcation, as Sisi’s regional sponsors adopt many of the destructive policies of the Turkish state, and I do not think that they will open the way for it to obtain any gains in the Mediterranean.