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Monday, 5 November 2018

Turkey can join in on EastMed gas after Cyprus reunification

When energy politics become geopolitics with a capital “G”: Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said his country will back Turkey’s inclusion in energy cooperation agreements to exploit the East Mediterranean gas reserves if Turkey accepts the reunification of the island, the AP reports. “We continue to upgrade our energy cooperation with countries in the eastern Mediterranean and in Europe and certainly, I underscore this, with Turkey in the event of a Cyprus settlement,” Anastasiades said on Friday.

Background: Ankara deployed its first deep-sea drilling ship to explore for natural gas and oil in contested waters of the Mediterranean last month, in a move likely to “exacerbate longstanding tensions with Greece.” Turkey also 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 signed an agreement that paves the way for the export of Cypriot natural gas to Egypt, which is emerging as the premier energy export hub in the Eastern Med. Turkey had long opposed the signing of the Economic Exclusion Zone agreement, which delineates maritime resources between Egypt, Greece, Cyprus and Israel. The agreement had been the basis of subsequent energy cooperation agreements between the four countries.

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