Tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean are escalating anew to dangerous levels. Turkey responded to a Greek-Egyptian maritime agreement, which undermined Germany’s mediation efforts, by dispatching the research vessel Oruç Reis, alongside frigates, to the Mediterranean Sea. The Greek military consequently went into high alert.
The current tension in the Eastern Mediterranean between Turkey and Greece is a consequence of Greece’s unfair and maximalist claims that violate Turkey’s rights in the region. Any sober analyst would agree on the unfair nature of the plans that Athens tries to impose on Ankara. These aggressive claims are supported by actors like France, Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who all have their own problems with Turkey.
French President Emmanuel Macron once said the 'NATO is brain dead.' Considering all the confusion the alliance is facing at critical moments, this statement has some basis. Lack of trust among the member countries and lack of cooperation and coordination have become some pervasive features of the strongest military alliance in modern history.
Tensions between Turkey and France have escalated over Libya. The latter is part of a group of countries infuriated by putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s most recent military defeats. Having failed to stop a Turkish vessel en route to Tripoli, Paris now seeks to limit Ankara’s room to maneuver through the European Union and NATO. French President Emmanuel Macron announced that his government would not allow Turkey’s “dangerous game” in Libya, as his foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, urged the EU to discuss the future of its relationship with the Turks “with nothing ruled out, without being naive.” He attempted to justify his call with reference to the organization’s own interests.
Libya has become a major focal point of the power struggle in the Eastern Mediterranean. That country’s future is directly related to energy politics, European security and North Africa’s stability. The United States Africa Command’s (AFRICOM) most recent announcement about Russian aircraft bombing Libyan government forces in Sirte demonstrated how closely Washington is watching the Russian presence in Libya – despite major distractions like the upcoming presidential election.