Cyprus

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Snapshot,
Yuri M. Zhukov

So far, public debate about the intervention in Syria has centered on the immediate scope and aims of any U.S.-led military operation, and whether the U.S. Congress should be involved. But no matter how the possible intervention and its aftermath play out, one thing is certain: the eastern Mediterranean -- where exploratory drilling has unearthed vast reserves of natural gas, and where competition between Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey is already fierce -- will become less stable.

Snapshot,
Yuri M. Zhukov

Russia recently turned down a deal to save Cyprus’ banking sector. At first glance, the move looked like a huge strategic blunder. In fact, a credible offer was never on the table and Moscow needs no accord to secure its dominance on the island.

Snapshot,
Yuri M. Zhukov

Exploratory drilling near the coasts of Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey has unearthed vast reserves of natural gas. Competition over the rights to tap those resources is compounding existing tensions over sovereignty and maritime borders. The eastern Mediterranean is quickly becoming as volatile as its eastern cousin, the South China Sea.

Snapshot,
Ehud Eiran and Yuval Zur

A small country hemmed in on its land borders by adversaries, Israel has always relied on the Mediterranean to avoid commercial and political isolation. New developments at sea, including the discovery of natural gas deposits and the growth of illicit trade, will only increase the importance of maritime issues for the country. Israel needs a comprehensive maritime strategy.

Essay, Jul 1975
John C. Campbell

From history, climate, the cultivation of the olive and other aspects of a common civilization, the Mediterranean region has a certain unity. One can see it on the map. Yet it is too much a part of Europe, too much a part of the larger strategic concerns of non-Mediterranean powers, too diverse in the nations which encircle its waters, to constitute a subject of specifically regional politics, economics or security. A Tunisian foreign minister may call plaintively for a Mediterranean freed from the presence of superpower navies. A Soviet leader may float a suggestion for its denuclearization. A Yugoslav may propose a system of Mediterranean security to complete the work of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. A president of France may speak of a community stemming from his nation's historic and cultural ties with nations on both sides of the inland sea. Such proposals have had an occasional echo. But the Mediterranean area is not ready for a big international conference on security, for a negotiated set of principles of coexistence, or for the withdrawal of American and Soviet naval forces. Everyone sees a crisis there, but none agree on its description and no regional solution, no regional procedure for getting a solution, is at hand.

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