Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday called the trilateral cooperation scheme established by Greece, Cyprus and Egypt “a beacon of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean,” in joint statements with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi after the 9th Trilateral Summit held in Athens.
He said it acted as a beacon of stability in many areas, “from energy and tourism to the protection of the environment and high technology, trade and shipping”.
At the same time he pledged to link Egypt to the European Union’s energy market with an undersea cable that would carry electricity across the Mediterranean.
“(Egypt’s) link to Europe will be Greece,” Mitsotakis said dding “we are seeking diversification of energy sources, and Egypt can also become a provider of electricity, which will be produced mainly by the sun.”
It comes during a global energy crunch, which has raised the cost of natural gas, oil and other fuels and led to pain for businesses and everyday people. Mitsotakis said the project would be a “bridge between Egypt to Europe, allowing (Cairo) to take on a key role in energy security at a time of major turbulence in the energy market.”
Egypt last week signed separate agreements with Greece and Cyprus to set up undersea interconnectors, though details of the proposed ventures have not been worked out.
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades also joined the Athens meeting, marking the ninth round of talks between the three countries’ leaders.
Greece is seeking to expand energy cooperation across the Mediterranean with Egypt and Israel as it remains at odds with neighbor Turkey over sea boundaries and seabed mineral rights.
Mitsotakis accused Turkey of continuing a hostile policy toward Athens over the dispute.
“Turkey’s aspirations at the expense of its neighbors in the eastern Mediterranean obviously represent a threat to peace in the wider region,” he said.
Turkey accuses Greece of making unreasonable demands for maritime exploitation, asserting jurisdiction in areas surrounding multiple islands near its coastline. Athens says it wants to resolve the dispute at an international court.
Earlier this year, Greece completed an energy link by undersea cable between its southern Peloponnese region and the island of Crete. [with associated press]