Greece Ratifies Agreement with Egypt on Maritime Zones

Par thierno - 31 August, 2020 - 11:18

The Greek Parliament ratified Thursday, August 27, a bilateral agreement on the delimitation of the maritime zones of hydrocarbon exploitation in the Eastern Mediterranean between Greece and Egypt, which aroused the anger of neighboring Turkey.

The agreement is seen as a response to the Turkey-Libya agreement signed at the end of 2019 allowing Turkey access to a large maritime area in the Eastern Mediterranean where large hydrocarbon deposits have been discovered in recent years.

Its ratification comes in the midst of a crisis in Greek-Turkish relations in the Eastern Mediterranean where the two neighboring countries, both members of NATO, compete for maritime areas rich in hydrocarbons.

Under this treaty, Egypt and Greece are now each allowed to take maximum advantage of the resources available in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), including oil and gas reserves.

Since August 10, four days after the signing of this bilateral agreement, Ankara has deployed its seismic vessel "Oruç Reis" and its escort of Turkish warships to conduct explorations off the Greek island of Kastellorizo, 2 km off the Turkish coast. On Thursday, Ankara announced the extension of its hydrocarbon research.

A similar agreement between Athens and Rome had been ratified on August 26 by the parliament, which delimits the fishing zones of Greece and Italy and confirms the right of the Greek islands in the Ionian Sea (west) to have maritime exploitation zones.