Foreign Policy: Turkey threatens peace in the eastern Mediterranean

New gas alliances in the eastern Mediterranean could boost peace in the region, according to the magazine Foreign Policy.

The strategic balance that has kept the Middle East relatively quiet over the past few years is on the verge of collapse because of Turkey, which announced earlier this month that it would start gas exploration off the coast of Cyprus, a purely economic zone of the island.

The magazine added, "Turkey’s brinkmanship comes in response to attempts by Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, and Israel to create a regional energy architecture that will exclude Turkey from the marketing of Eastern Mediterranean natural gas. For example, in 2017 and early 2018, Egypt and Cyprus were in talks about a deal to sell gas from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe using Egypt’s liquified natural gas plants—which would ensure that the region’s offshore gas bypasses Turkey’s pipelines en route to European Union markets."

The magazine pointed out that the Turkish threats push Cyprus to get closer to Egypt, and agreed to supply natural gas to Egypt and pumped in the liquefaction plants, in order to re-supply to Europe, Turkey to lose this battle and win Egypt.

The report pointed out that what Turkey is doing is a cause for concern, because any provocation could lead to armed conflict in a conflict-ridden region, and therefore Ankara has to negotiate with the parties concerned to reach a solution, and may be part of the coalition, but without infringing on Cyprus rights in economic waters exclusive of the island.

The report pointed out that Turkey's concession of violence and repeated attacks on Cyprus and its participation in the coalition will not only develop gas fields, but also promotes peace in the eastern Mediterranean region.

J.O


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