Analysis, commentary: Egypt, will sign an agreement on maritime borders with Turkey?
Surprising developments are taking place in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias paid an official visit to Cairo yesterday for several hours, following the Friendship Forum held in Athens recently. According to the statement made by the Spokesperson of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexandros Papaioannou, Minister Dendias discussed the regional problems and developments in the Eastern Mediterranean during his contacts in Cairo. Dendias’ visit also includes the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus (GASC), which is an issue to be focused on.
Dendias’ visit to Egypt came just days after the phone call between Egyptian President Abdulfettah Sisi and Greek Prime Minister Kiryakos Miçotakis. According to the statement made by the Egyptian Presidency Spokesperson, in the Sisi-Miçotakis meeting, in addition to the “close” relations connecting Egypt and Greece in various fields, cooperation in the field of energy and developments in the Eastern Mediterranean were discussed. While the Prime Minister of Greece emphasized the importance of mutual coordination, especially in the field of energy and in the Eastern Mediterranean files, it was emphasized that this should be achieved in a way that contributes to the achievement of the interests of the peoples of these countries, both at the bilateral level and within the framework of the tripartite cooperation mechanism between Egypt, Greece and the Greek Cypriot Administration.
intensification of contact with the last few days in Greece, Egypt, on Turkey’s border with Egypt by sea between them to resume talks about a possible agreement with Cairo comes at the same time. This development was accompanied by news in the Turkish press about a planned agreement to end the rupture in relations between the two countries. As well as Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, last Wednesday in a statement he made to reporters in Ankara, Turkey, Egypt ‘according to the course of bilateral relations’ he said can be found in negotiations on maritime jurisdiction areas.
Breaking the isolation
Çavuşoğlu made these remarks in his response to a question regarding the tenders that Egypt launched last month for oil and natural gas exploration activities in the Mediterranean. In August last year the western boundary is determined by agreement between Cairo and Athens, but the map of the Turkey-Libya deal said that the Turkish continental shelf that conform to the southern border. Çavuşoğlu continued his words as follows:
“As the two countries with the longest territorial waters and borders in the Eastern Mediterranean, we can negotiate the maritime jurisdiction issue with Egypt tomorrow, depending on the course of our relations.”
It is not the first time that Ankara’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes positive statements that show his desire to influence Egypt and break the isolation, as a result of his hostile policies towards his neighbors in the region. Last September, Yasin Aktay, one of the advisers of President and AK Party Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdogan, referred to the rapprochement and communication between the two countries and talked about the necessity of communicating with Cairo independently of political disagreements.
Also in July 2020, former Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu spoke of the need to make an agreement with Egypt on the determination of an exclusive economic zone, which raises many questions about the possibility of activities in the Eastern Mediterranean in accordance with international law.
Egypt, Greece, Lebanon and Cyprus signed by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) has a specific vision related recognize Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. UNCLOS defines countries off their coast of up to 200 miles as their exclusive economic zone.
Ankara, UNCLOS does not accept the terms and Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone that has only 12 kilometers of the south through the waters off the island until the last Egypt argues that Turkey belongs to.
Egypt and Greece in the Turkish press after the signing of an agreement to be drawn sea border in August, the two nearest coastal point you interconnecting lines between Egypt and Turkey, Greece and news that is shorter than the line between Cyprus took place
The maritime borders of Cyprus and Greece are to some extent connected with most of Greece’s eastern islands (Meis and Santorini), and this can only be determined within the framework of borders between all countries in the region.
Egypt and Southern Cyprus signed an agreement in 2003 to set the borders. Egyptian Parliament’s upper wing of the Shura Council, an agreement made on GASC’s status with Turkey to the Muslim Brotherhood, the leading parliamentarian from the name of Khalid Abdulkadir under a bill presented by Udeh March 2013, tried to cancel the agreement in question.
Bashir Abdulfattah, a researcher at the Egypt-based Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, made the following assessment:
“Egypt is not against signing agreements with the Eastern Mediterranean countries, because this is in everyone’s interest. In addition, the agreements provide a legal umbrella to legitimize Egypt’s exploitation of the region’s wealth. in agreement with the Greek Cypriot Administration and Greece Cairo internationally recognized legal reference (1982 UNCLOS) it is not recognized by Turkey. Thus, in Turkey, which basically he wants to reach agreement on the demarcation of the border with Egypt? ‘Question must be asked. ”
Abdulfettah stated that Ankara only recognized the term “continental shelf”, which indicates that it has territorial waters parallel to the coasts of a country. the longest in the Mediterranean coast of Turkey (more than 2 thousand nautical miles) that has two thousand nautical miles and said he wanted to extend to a depth of love.
Egypt’s commitment to agreements
While Greek Foreign Minister Dendias ‘visit to Egypt reflects Athens’ concern over the rapprochement between Cairo and Ankara at the expense of other countries in the region, diplomats and observers do not consider Egypt violating the law of the sea on this issue. Stating that Cairo openly refused to deal with Ankara on this issue away from the Greek Cypriot Administration and Greece, Abdulfettah emphasized that the insistence on rejecting the law of the sea constitutes a major obstacle to drawing the borders with the countries of the region. Abdulfettah, of his call to Turkey to Egypt to sea in compliance with the general law that ‘unless they include the phrase, they have a real agenda put forward. Egypt pointed out that Turkey’s continental shelf avoid Abdulfettah, “This is not a method of making an exchange, our borders and our commitment to sovereignty,” he said.
GCA UN Permanent Representative Andreas Mavroyannis, who is a professor of international law at Frederick University, told Independent Arabia that the border agreement between Cyprus and Egypt is subject to UNCLOS and therefore UNCLOS ‘ He said that the fair result stated in Article 74 of Turkey was reached. “Therefore, negotiations on this agreement and its subsequent ratification are not a controversial issue,” Mavroyiannis said.
Egypt can be found on more claims in the region such as Turkey, he said in a policy of Mavroyannis the words continued as follows:
“We are happy that this is not the case. Mediterranean should be divided in the middle between Egypt in the north to the south with Turkey. Because there is nothing between them. In that case, Egypt could get a better deal at the expense of all its neighbors. ”
possibility of rapprochement between the Arab countries and Turkey
Saudi Egypt Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by classified as a terrorist organization Muslim Brotherhood members to the home of the rupture of diplomatic relations between Turkey and rapprochement of Ankara after the tension over many years between the two countries and the explanations seemingly good intentions to show initiative in Cairo ‘ There was no official response from.
Observers, to re-establish relations between Arab countries and Turkey say that some of the calls made.
Merve Mezid, a researcher in the Defense and Security Program of the Middle East Institute in Washington, made the following evaluations on the issue:
“Egypt, Libya and Turkey should draw red lines on the steps in the eastern Mediterranean, it has created a powerful obstacle by building alliances against both actions. So much so that this situation prompted Ankara to attempt to reconcile with the statements of its officials calling for dialogue with Egypt instead of ignoring Cairo. ”
Mezid, President Erdogan’s policy of maintaining, if not then the task of the future governments of Egypt and Turkey marked the years before they can regain their common interests and values put forward in Turkey. These thoughts with Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies researcher covering Abdulfettah Turkey and Arab countries had supported the promises that it can reach a consensus. Noting that Erdogan had good relations with Arab countries before his “blue homeland” policy, Mezid stated that even Europeans and Americans are interested in Erdogan in this context. He noted that the aim here is to “fine-tune the conjuncture”.
At the joint press conference held with Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan on September 13, 2020, Egyptian Foreign Minister Samih Shukri used the expressions “If the discourses are inconsistent with the policies, it does not matter.”
Shukri continued his explanation as follows:
“Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Libya, as well as military presence in the territory of the policies we have seen from what we have witnessed in the Eastern Mediterranean is blocking the dialogue.”
On the other hand, the political analyst Cevat Gök, who evaluated the statements made by Ankara as a positive signal, claimed that Turkish officials started to give up their old attitude towards Egypt. Stating that this can be seen as a political victory for Egypt, Gök said, “We needed such positive statements because Ankara has almost no neighbors left in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
The real issue is the Muslim Brotherhood, pointed out that the file related to the heavens, “Therefore, at least to send Turkey a member of the Muslim Brotherhood should take this issue to a third country as a positive step. “Then it will be easy to persuade Egypt to make an agreement for the demarcation of the borders.”
Cairo also heavens Turkey on the one hand, on the other hand good as the mediator between Greece and the Greek Cypriot Administration could play a positive role and stressed.