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Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Turkey sets up confrontation over natural gas exploration rights in Eastern Med

Also on the foreign policy front: Turkey is setting up a confrontation in the Eastern Med over natural gas exploration rights. Ankara, having already its regional rivals against further exploration in Cypriot waters, has deployed its “first deep-sea drilling ship, flanked by Turkish war vessels” to explore for “natural gas and oil in contested waters of the Mediterranean.” The move is likely to “exacerbate longstanding tensions with Greece,” Bloomberg reports.

Background: Turkey sent naval forces earlier this year into Cypriot waters to try to block the deployment of an Eni exploration rig. The move came just months before Egypt and Cyprus — anchors of a regional triad with Greece that is cooperating on economic and security policies — signed an agreement that paves the way for the export of Cypriot natural gas to Egypt, which is emerging as the premier energy hub in the Eastern Med.

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