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Athens and Cairo discuss energy links, possible LNG supply

Athens and Cairo discuss energy links, possible LNG supply

Amid the global energy upheaval sparked by the war in Ukraine, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry during talks in Cairo on Monday revisited the interconnection of the electricity networks of the two countries via a submarine power cable, but also the possibility of Egypt supplying Greece with liquefied natural gas (LNG), specifically from Alexandria.

This scenario, if it were to come to fruition, would boost Greece’s energy security in a period of utter uncertainty. However, it would not come at the expense of wider plans in the Eastern Mediterranean region, such as the resurgence of scenarios for the construction of the EastMed pipeline, as LNG transport entails much smaller quantities. Meanwhile, according to reports on Monday, a tripartite meeting between Greece, Cyprus and Israel will take place in Athens next week.

The second issue that was discussed was the situation in Libya, regarding which Greece and Egypt share a common vision, with both men reaffirming their desire for stability in an area of ​​strategic importance to Cairo.

“We discussed in detail Libya, the situation that has arisen with the presence of two prime ministers, Mr [Abdul Hamid] Dbeibah and Mr [Fathi] Bashagha, and how we can coordinate our actions so that Libya is finally led to elections,” Dendias said after the meeting. In a tweet, Dendias described the meeting as cordial, focused on deepening strategic relations and cooperation on the basis of a shared commitment to international law and the law of the sea, as well as the situation in Ukraine.

Another issue high on the agenda was the risk of a food crisis as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which could have a huge impact on Egypt as it is heavily dependent on Ukrainian wheat.

Dendias pledged to his counterpart that he would raise the issue with the European institutions. Tellingly, in the last few days alone there has been a 37% increase in the price of bread in Egypt. The two men also agreed that there will be an enhanced business mission to Athens from Cairo and vice versa. The details will be coordinated by the competent Deputy Minister Kostas Fragogiannis.