Nikos Meletis (ERT): Mr President, your visit to Egypt after a long time is brief. How do you assess this first meeting you have after a long time with President Sisi?
Kyriakos Mitsotakis: Brief but productive. As you know, I have an excellent personal relation with President Sisi and I am here to reaffirm the strategic depth of relations between Greece and Egypt and to thank Egypt for their actions to support our country by sending military helicopters to assist in the battle with the forest fires.
We had the opportunity to discuss all the issues with regard to our cooperation, to make an overall assessment of the geopolitical situation in the eastern Mediterranean. To reaffirm that Greece and Egypt are factors of stability in our wider geopolitical region. But also to discuss new prospects of cooperation, with an emphasis on energy issues, since the interconnection between Greece and Egypt through a power cable is a project that seems to have the support of the European Union.
But also to reaffirm our willingness to work together on issues that relate to human resources. As you know, there are currently significant labor shortages in our country, whether we are talking about the primary sector or construction. And we have put forward a plan to quickly implement this initial idea regarding cooperation in this sector.
As I have said many times, we want to encourage legal migration, but we will be very strict with illegal migration. Egypt can offer assistance to Greece to cover our needs in human resources.
All the above will have as capstone the decision to proceed with the establishment of a High-Level Cooperation Council with Egypt, comprising several members of the Cabinet.
We hope that the first meeting of such a Council will take place in Greece early in 2024, when we will invest in this relation even further, to the mutual benefit of Greece and Egypt and our two peoples.
Of course, on the occasion of the visit I wanted to refer to El Alamein, where our ancestors gave their lives in the Egyptian desert during World War II so that we could be free. It was the least I could do for those who were far from home, in the common struggle for freedom.
Nikos Meletis (ERT): Mr.President, are Greek-Egyptian relations acquiring a strong dynamic, an autonomous dynamic independent from third factors and other influences?
Kyriakos Mitsotakis: Of course, the Greek-Egyptian relations are autonomous and strong. They are not defined by and do not depend on any relations we may have with other countries in the eastern Mediterranean. This is something that President Sisi and I have made clear, this is the nature of these relations, this is a strategic relation that Greece has developed with Egypt, which still has much to demonstrate in many different fields.
Thank you very much.