The arrival of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi Tuesday night in Athens for talks on Wednesday with his counterpart Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in the midst of a global pandemic, is seen as indicative of a veritable spring in the relations between the two countries.
The Egyptian leader was received at the airport by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, who on August 6 had signed the agreement for the partial demarcation of an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between the two countries in Cairo with his Egyptian counterpart.
As al-Sisi’s visit suggests, Athens and Cairo are in very intensive discussions to further strengthen their relationship both within the tripartite scheme of cooperation with Nicosia but also beyond it. France, which has close relations with Egypt, also wants to join the tripartite. The tripartite meeting between Greece, Egypt and Cyprus at the level of defense ministers will take place on Friday in Athens, where a plan for more intensive military exercises is expected to be agreed.
Meanwhile, Mitsotakis, accompanied by Dendias, Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos and Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis, will visit Abu Dhabi on November 17 and 18 to discuss defense cooperation and investment. During his Athens visit in August, the head of the United Arab Emirates’ armed forces reiterated his country’s intention to cooperate with Greece.
Since then, Mitsotakis and Dendias have been in regular contact with the UAE leadership and Foreign Ministry. Meanwhile, Greece, the UAE and India have almost agreed on the creation of a tripartite cooperation scheme. It was announced on Tuesday that Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will pay an official visit to Athens on November 30.