The Eastern Mediterranean is once again in turmoil; in addition to proxy wars (in Syria and Iraq) and the occupation of Cyprus, there is no president or functioning government in Lebanon, which is also in the midst of an open conflict with Israel in the south.Read more...
The Eastern Mediterranean is once again in turmoil; in addition to proxy wars (in Syria and Iraq) and the occupation of Cyprus, there is no president or functioning government in Lebanon, which is also in the midst of an open conflict with Israel in the south. Furthermore, Turkey is threatening its neighbours, Israel is faced with daily security issues, the Sinai Peninsula is no longer safe, the refugee problem is adding to the region's woes, and the rule of international law is being increasingly violated. The arrival in the region of a new powerful world player, Russia, and of an indomitable regional player, Iran, has further upset the balance in the Eastern Mediterranean. The economies of the region are also confronted with serious problems. Greece and Cyprus are under Troika supervision, even if Cyprus's program is, in theory, ending soon. The Egyptian economy is failing to meet its potential, with its per capita GDP stuck at the bottom of the international rung. Even the Turkish economy is showing signs of fatigue with the value of the Turkish lira against the dollar taking a nosedive and the Russian embargo beginning to bite. Israel is doing better than its neighbours, but continues to carry a heavy defence burden.However, the region has a habit of bouncing back, and newly discovered energy reserves are now giving the Eastern Mediterranean hope. If properly handled, energy can help unite the countries in the region and turn the Eastern Mediterranean into a peaceful and harmonious network. There are, however, two main obstacles that must be overcome, namely the Palestinian problem and the occupation by Turkey of 37% of Cyprus' territory. Syria would also need to take the path to peace, free of terrorism and violence. Working together on energy resources would help countries of the Eastern Mediterranean see their neighbours as natural allies rather than as antagonists and proxies of some foreign power. This book proposes the creation of a High Energy Authority that would enable all countries in the region to exploit their energy reserves together. This concept would create economic advantage and reduce conflict and hegemonic dependence.
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