Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has issued a decree defining the country’s maritime borders in the Mediterranean, the country's official Middle East News Agency reported on Tuesday.
“The borders of Egypt's territorial waters begin from the Egyptian-Libyan land border point No. 1 for a distance of 12 nautical miles reaching point No. 8, and thus Egypt's western maritime borderline launches from point No. 8 in the direction of the north,” the decree said, which was published in the official gazette.
Egypt hopes to become a regional energy hub with its rapid growth in natural gas supplies. It formed with other countries the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, which aims to develop the region’s gas market.
The forum brings together Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, but excludes Turkey.
In October, Egypt and Greece strongly condemned maritime gas deals in disputed waters between Turkey and Libya's Tripoli-based government, one of two rival administrations in the North African nation.
Egypt and Greece have strengthened ties in recent years, co-operating closely to develop energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, sharing intelligence on terrorism and frequently conducting joint war games.
The two countries, along with Cyprus, have signed maritime border agreements with the aim of facilitating the exploitation of large natural gasfields in the Eastern Mediterranean.