Sunday, January 19th 2020 11PM °C nicosia
09-01-2020 12:33 | Read 232 times

EastMed tensions rising

TENSIONS in the eastern Mediterranean region have risen further after Turkey announced on Monday that it was fast-tracking a bill to Parliament to allow Turkish troops to be deployed to Libya – to the fury of Greece and the Greek Cypriots.

EastMed tensions rising


Chief Reporter

The move came following an agreement between Turkey and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord in November to delineate maritime borders from Turkey’s southern Mediterranean shore to Libya’s north-east coast, angering Greece, which expelled Libya’s ambassador to Athens.

The recognised government of Libya has also made a formal request for military support from Turkey.

The newly agreed exclusive economic zones (EEZ) cover an area that includes a proposed gas pipeline linking Greece with South Cyprus, Egypt and Israel.

Greece, South Cyprus and Israel signed an agreement in Athens on Thursday for the construction of the “EastMed natural gas pipeline” to supply gas to Europe, which will now pass through the Turkish-declared continental shelf and EEZ region. The project envisages a profit of $9 billion over 18 years although experts have cast doubt over its viability.

Analysts say that the Turkey-Libya agreement has effectively “thrown a spanner” into the works by placing a barrier in front of the planned pipeline.

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