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Egypt strenously denies it held East Med talks with Turkey

Egyptian diplomatic sources have denied rumors that Cairo discussed the eastern Mediterranean issue with Turkey.

Egypt is committed to Cyprus and Greece being part of any negotiations with Turkey, the sources added.
Cairo also has “no intentions” of negotiating with Turkey over the issue, they said.

Turkish claims that a resolution is close to being reached are false, the sources said.

“The Egyptian side is sticking to its position rejecting the maritime agreement signed between the Libyan Government of National Accord and Ankara,” they said.

“Egypt’s respect for the maritime borders of the Mediterranean countries is not new and Turkey’s attempts to claim that the two countries have negotiated is incorrect.”

The comments follow claims by Turkey’s foreign minister, who said that Ankara would finalize an agreement with Egypt in line with the maritime authority agreement concluded with Libya and registered with the UN.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi recently discussed by phone areas of cooperation in the eastern Mediterranean with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Egyptian presidential spokesman Bassam Radi said that the two discussed close bilateral relations, especially cooperation in the field of energy and the eastern Mediterranean.

During the call, El-Sisi praised the strength of Egyptian-Greek relations.

He mentioned Egypt’s pride in cooperative relations with Greece and positive developments between the two countries over common interests.

The claims by Turkey’s foreign minister follow attempts by Ankara to gather Egyptian support over its claims to parts of the eastern Mediterranean.

Last year, the spokesman for the Turkish presidency, Ibrahim Kalin, also expressed Ankara’s desire to restore relations with Egypt.

Turkish activity has intensified relations with neighboring countries — especially Greece and Cyprus — as Ankara seeks to control regional waters that are likely to contain significant quantities of natural gas.

While Egypt has demarcated its borders with Greece, El-Sisi last October ratified an agreement with Greece on the designation of an exclusive economic zone between the two countries.

In 2019, Cyprus, Greece, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Italy and the Palestinian territories held the EastMed Gas Forum, which did not include Turkey.

Turkish gas exploration in marine areas claimed by Greece and Cyprus has also led to a breakdown of relations between the countries.

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