Since the emergence of the Eastern Mediterranean crisis, there have been a lot of debates and questions regarding the role of the major powers in the potential resolution of this dispute. After Turkey’s calls for dialogue and diplomacy fell on deaf ears in the early days of the crisis, many assumed that one of the major powers would play the role of mediator for this problem.
Recent tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean have multiple drivers including the race for exploitation of energy resources, long-standing maritime disputes, and the broader geopolitical competition between regional powers. While Turkey’s recent assertiveness of her rights in the Eastern Mediterranean drew renewed attention to the region, this round of confrontation has been long in the making.
The Eastern Mediterranean question, like a ghost train, shuttles around and around, plunging the global agenda into fright with each passing day.
Tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean seem incapable of de-escalating. Although the situation on the Sirte-Jufra line in Libya remains under control thanks to Turkey’s diplomatic talks with the U.S. and Russia, last week’s explosion in Lebanon and the Greco-Egyptian maritime deal fueled tensions anew. Athens and Cairo recently announced that they had concluded an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) agreement, directly challenging Turkey’s November 2019 deal with Libya. As a matter of fact, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias did not hesitate to describe that agreement as “the opposite” of the Turkish-Libyan treaty.
The fall of Tripoli could undermine European energy security and unleash a new refugee wave on already overwhelmed countries