Skip to main content

Greece, Egypt expect Biden will be 'decisive' in Mediterranean dispute, Greek PM says

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' comments came as Turkey announced it was extending exploratory work in the contested waters.
GettyImages-1229575238.jpg

Greece and Egypt expect President-elect Joe Biden to play a more “decisive” role in solving their dispute with Turkey over maritime rights in the eastern Mediterranean, the Greek prime minister said. 

“We have every reason to welcome, along with all our partners in the region, the return of the United States to its central role as a leader of NATO,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Wednesday following a meeting in Athens with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. 

“Both Greece and Egypt will receive positively a more decisive role of the United States in the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean," Mitsotakis said. 

Turkey says it has maritime rights to areas in the eastern Mediterranean Sea that are home to potential offshore gas reserves and where Cyprus, Greece and Egypt also claim jurisdiction. The simmering territorial dispute escalated this summer after Turkey deployed its Oruc Reis research vessel to conduct exploratory work near the Greek island of Kastellorizo.

On Wednesday, Ankara announced it would continue seismic research activities in the contested waters through Nov. 23, drawing immediate condemnation from Athens.  

"Greece reiterates its condemnation of this provocative conduct, which further undermines any prospect of a constructive dialogue,” the Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement. 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has previously expressed his concern over Turkey’s actions in the Mediterranean, and has called on all parties to reach a diplomatic solution.

Biden, who has described Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as an autocrat, is expected to take a harsher line on Turkey than his predecessor. On Tuesday, Erdogan issued a belated statement of congratulations to Biden and called for the “strong cooperation and alliance” between the two NATO allies to continue. 

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Free

The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.

Free

What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing
Expert

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to pro.support@al-monitor.com and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Already a Member? Sign in

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial