Egypt and Greece recently signed a landmark maritime agreement that has been making headlines around the world. The deal, which was announced in August 2020, has far-reaching implications for the Eastern Mediterranean region and marks a significant shift in the balance of power in the area.
The agreement, which was signed between the two countries in Cairo, delimits an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) for each country in the Mediterranean Sea. This means that both Egypt and Greece now have a defined area of maritime jurisdiction where they have exclusive rights to explore and exploit natural resources, such as oil and gas reserves.
The two countries have been engaged in negotiations to determine the boundary of their respective EEZs for some time. The process was complicated by the overlapping claims of other countries in the region, including Turkey, which has been asserting its own claims in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The new agreement comes as a relief to Greece, which has been locked in a dispute with Turkey over its maritime boundaries. Greece argues that its EEZ should extend from its mainland and islands in the Aegean Sea, while Turkey claims that its own continental shelf and exclusive economic zone should extend further into the Eastern Mediterranean.
The agreement between Egypt and Greece effectively cuts Turkey off from any potential oil and gas reserves in the region, as its claims are now hemmed in by the EEZs of its northern neighbors.
The agreement has also received criticism from Turkey, which denounced it as a violation of its own maritime rights. However, the move has been hailed by the United States and other European nations as a positive step towards resolving longstanding disputes in the region.
So, what does the maritime agreement between Egypt and Greece actually look like? A map of the agreement shows that the two countries have agreed on a boundary that extends from the southern coast of Crete in Greece to the western coast of Egypt.
The line follows a series of points along the coastline of both countries and extends out into the Mediterranean Sea to create a maritime boundary. The precise details of the agreement have not been made public, but it is believed that Egypt and Greece have agreed to a roughly equal division of the EEZ between them.
The agreement marks a significant shift in the balance of power in the Eastern Mediterranean, with Egypt and Greece now firmly positioned as key players in the region. As tensions continue to simmer between Greece and Turkey, the new maritime boundary could have important implications for future negotiations between the two countries.
The deal also highlights the growing importance of natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, as countries seek to stake their claim to potentially lucrative oil and gas reserves. While the agreement between Egypt and Greece has been hailed as a positive step towards resolving disputes in the region, it remains to be seen how other countries will respond to this new development.
Overall, the maritime agreement between Egypt and Greece is a significant development in the ongoing dispute over maritime boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean. The agreement marks a major shift in the balance of power in the region and could have important implications for future negotiations between Greece, Turkey, and other nations in the area.