Egypt and Greece signed an agreement on 6 August to establish an exclusive economic zone between the two countries in the Mediterranean Sea. The deal comes in response to Turkey signing a similar agreement with Libya’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA – MEES, 24 January). As far as Egypt, Greece and their ally Cyprus are concerned Turkey and Libya do not have a maritime boundary.

The move will likely ratchet tensions up further after Greece and Turkey were involved in a maritime stand-off last month that eventually saw Turkey postpone plans to send the Oruc Reis seismic survey vessel into waters around the Greek island of Kastelorizo, which is just 2km from the Turkish mainland. At the time, Ankara said it was willing to give negotiations a chance. Athens says it is ready to begin talks over delineating the two countries’ maritime borders after previous talks broke down in 2016. Because Greece controls virtually all of the 100s of Aegean islands, UN law of the sea rules make virtually the whole Aegean its EEZ. Turkey for this reason rejects the UN convention. (CONTINUED - 318 WORDS)