Greece and Egypt to Establish Closer Shipping Ties

Christos Stylianides and Omar Amer Youssef
Greece and Egypt intend to establish stronger shipping and maritime ties. Credit: Christos Stylianides / X

Greece and Egypt intend to establish closer shipping ties with the creation of a new sea freight route between the ports of Volos in Greece and Alexandria in Egypt.

The intention to strengthen maritime ties was established at a meeting between the Greek Minister of Maritime Affairs Christos Stylianides and the Egyptian Ambassador to Greece Omar Amer Youssef.

Commenting on the meeting, Mr Stylianides posted on X, “I welcomed the Ambassador of Egypt to Greece Omar Amer Youssef. We discussed the challenges facing the shipping sector as well as ways to further strengthen our cooperation both bilaterally and within.”

The proposed sea freight route will reportedly receive formal approval later in May during the first session of the Egyptian-Greek Marine Committee.

Greece and Egypt enjoy close ties

In recent months, the governments of Greece and Egypt have worked together to increase the levels of cooperation and exchange between the two countries. With both sharing maritime access to the Mediterranean, a convergence of geostrategic interests has been observed between the two governments over the past few years.

Earlier this year in March, Greece and Egypt signed an agreement on the establishment of the High-Level Cooperation Council in Cairo during a meeting between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

The Greece-Egypt bilateral agreement was signed prior to a joint meeting between the two leaders, the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, and the leaders of Belgium, Italy, Austria, and Cyprus.

The Greek and Egyptian leaders discussed several topics including security in the region, aid for war-stricken Gaza, migration, and energy.

“Egypt’s stability and prosperity are of the utmost importance for the EU, and Greece is a supporter,” the Greek prime minister commented at the time.

Recent developments in bilateral relations

More recently in May, the Greek Migration Minister Dimitris Kairidis met with Egyptian Labor Minister Hassan Shehata in Cairo. The pair explored ways to deepen cooperation so as to tackle the ongoing issue of illegal migration, a key challenge for both countries.

Greece and Egypt also reached an agreement to facilitate the importation of workers from Egypt for temporary agricultural employment in Greece. It is hoped that the arrival of about 5,000 Egyptian agricultural workers will enable Greece to overcome labor shortages in the sector.

Talks between the two countries have also touched on the possibility of extending this initiative to combat labor shortages in other sectors of the Greek economy, such as construction and tourism.

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