Greek Minister of Defence met with the Minister of Defence of Egypt
The Minister of National Defence Nikos Dendias conducted on Tuesday 19 December 2023, an official visit to Egypt.
In the context of the visit, Mr Dendias was received by the President of Egypt Abdel Fattah Εl–Sisi at the Al – Ittihadiya Palace.
The Minister of National Defence congratulated the President of Egypt on his reelection and stressed the significance of the strategic relation of the two states on security and stability in the wider region. He also communicated the thanks of the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for the dispatch of Chinook helicopters to Greece last summer, to contribute to the fire-fighting efforts.
Afterwards Mr Dendias went to the Ministry of Defence in Cairo, where he met with the Minister of Defence of Egypt, General Mohamed Zaki. After the meeting, the Greek Minister stated the following:
“With particular pleasure I am here in Cairo today, where I was initially received by President El-Sisi and then I had the pleasure of meeting my counterpart, General Zaki.
During our talks, we reaffirmed the exceptional bilateral relations between Egypt and Greece. Furthermore, I had the opportunity, after a pertinent order by our country’s Prime Minister, Mr Mitsotakis, to thank President El-Sisi and my counterpart, for the assistance offered by the Egyptian side to Greece, during last summer’s fires, by dispatching Chinook helicopters.
Furthermore, we discussed the renewed presence of Chinook helicopters in Greece during July and August 2024, so that they can deter possible dangers with their presence, similar to those we experienced the previous summer.
Moreover, the visit reaffirmed, as I said already, the exquisite level of our relations. Relations which have been improving for the last four years, since 2020 when here in Cairo, along with my friend Sameh Shoukry, we had the opportunity to sign the Agreement on the demarcation of the Exclusive Economic Zones of Egypt and Greece. An Agreement which sets the example for the International Law of the Sea, which also helped stability and security in the region. I would like to take this opportunity to underline the leading role of Egypt in the protection of security and stability in our wider region, the Southeastern Mediterranean and the Arab world, in a region where we, Greece, also play a stabilising role.
Of course, we discussed about all the wider problems, Sudan, Libya, the situation in Gaza, the need for a truce and the protection of the lives of the non-combatants.
We also talked about all the challenges and threats, for the enhancement of our defence cooperation, but of course, always under one condition: The devotion to International Law and the International Law of the Sea.
We also had the opportunity to prioritise our cooperation in the field of defence industry, particularly taking into account the Greek effort for the establishment of a defence ecosystem.
We also agreed to expand the framework of our two countries’ joint Armed Forces exercises.
It was a great pleasure to be here today in Cairo and I would like to take this opportunity to publicly state that I invited General Mohamed Zaki, to conduct a visit to Athens in the future and that it will be my great pleasure to receive him”.
Afterwards, the Minister of National Defence went to the Unknown Soldier Memorial and the Tomb of President Sadat in Cairo, where he laid a wreath.
Later Mr Dendias visited Alexandria, where he will be received by His Beatitude the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Mr Theodoros B in the Patriarchate.