Back to the complete issue
Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Greece’s parliament to sign ratify maritime accord with Egypt, as naval drills escalate tensions with Turkey

Tensions between Greece and Turkey escalated as both countries held rival naval drills in the eastern Mediterranean amid a simmering dispute over energy exploration in the region, Reuters reports. The NATO members both issued an advisory on Sunday saying they’d be conducting naval drills off the Greek island of Crete. Each described the other’s maneuvers as illegal.

Erdogan escalates hostile rhetoric: Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused Greece of “sowing chaos,” prompting Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas to reply that Athens will be “responding calmly and with readiness both on a diplomatic and on an operational level” to defend its sovereign rights.

Germany steps in to cool heads: Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas visited Athens and Ankara separately on Tuesday to mediate the dispute. He urged resumed dialogue, describing the situation as “playing with fire, with any small spark potentially leading to catastrophe,” Bloomberg reports. Germany’s intervention last month succeeded in persuading Ankara to pause its activities in the Meditterranean, but that was short-lived. A ministry spokesman had previously said that Germany “regrets” Turkey’s decision to extend its exploration work at sea. Germany, as one of the largest economies in Europe, represents a major customer that will be buying the gas from the contested region.

Beyond its bullying-as-foreign-policy strategy, Turkey has been attempting to emerge as a regional energy power. Turkey announced last Friday a major gas discovery on the Black Sea that could potentially transform the sultanate from a mere consumer and cross-border conduit for gas trade to a sizable regional producer.

Meanwhile, Greece’s parliament is set to ratify today a maritime accord it signed with Egypt. Parliament last week ratified the accord with Greece to create a joint exclusive economic zone in the eastern Mediterreanean. The accord aims to advance both countries’ ambitions to maximize their utilization of the resources available in the region, marking a step towards more natural gas exploration and extraction for Egypt. The move has naturally made the Sultanate all the more thirsty.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.