Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi ratified, on Saturday, the maritime demarcation agreement that was signed between the Egyptian and Greek governments on 6 August.
Presidential decree No 444 of 2020 “was based on the desire of the two countries to contribute to the stability of the region, in good faith, in accordance with international law as well as their desire in enhancing mutual cooperation, neighbourly relations and bonds of friendship..
The decree stipulates that, in case natural resources, including hydrocarbon stocks, are found to extend from one party’s exclusive economic zone to the exclusive economic zone of the other, both sides have to cooperate in reaching an exploitation agreement for these resources.
The decree also notes that any dispute on the explanation or implementation of this agreement should be settled diplomatically with the spirit of understanding and cooperation. It is not subject to revocation, withdrawal or suspension for any reason, but it can be amended only by agreement of the two parties.
Earlier in August, Egypt and Greece signed the maritime demarcation deal in a move to maximise their use of mineral resources in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
The agreement lays out the boundaries between the two countries’ exclusive economic zones, amid growing tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, due to the illegal Turkish attempts to explore for oil in the region. The Greek and Egyptian parliaments both approved the agreement later in August.
In a 2010 report, the US Geological Survey estimated that “1.7bn barrels of recoverable oil and a mean of 122trn cubic feet of recoverable gas lie in the Eastern Mediterranean’s Levant Basin Province.”