Athens intensifying diplomatic push

Athens intensifying diplomatic push

A period of intense diplomatic activity is expected in the coming weeks for Athens, which will include France’s deeper involvement in the Eastern Mediterranean region, with Paris’ participation in the trilateral 3+1 meeting of foreign ministers of Greece, Cyprus and Egypt in Cairo at the beginning of the new year, probably on January 4.

France will be the +1 as the US was in the trilateral meetings between Greece, Cyprus and Israel.

In general, the political alignment of French President Emmanuel Macron’s government’s with that of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on multiple levels has generated mutual understanding, particularly when it comes to the need for promoting a more active European Union foreign policy and common defense.

At present, there is no wider European framework that Athens can call on, which is why France appears willing to cooperate with Greece.

According to some sources, yet stronger indications of a closer relationship between the two countries are expected in January. By that time Greece, Cyprus and Israel will have signed the agreement for the construction of the East Med pipeline.

It remains to be seen when and, primarily, how Italy will get involved in the project for transporting natural gas from the Eastern Mediterranean to Western Europe.

Of pivotal significance for the regional balance of power are the imminent meetings between Mitsotakis with US President Donald Trump in Washington and that of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Meanwhile, in light of the maritime border accord between Ankara and the Tripoli-based government in Libya, Athens is trying to move forward as quickly as possible to delimit exclusive economic zones with Italy and Egypt. Contacts with Italy will take place at a technical level on December 30, while the relevant consultations with Egypt will be held in Cairo in the new year.

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