Green light for the Eastmed gas pipeline
Greece, Cyprus and Israel want to sign an agreement on the construction of the Eastmed gas pipeline today, Thursday. The 2,000-kilometre pipeline is to transport Israeli gas to Italy and Europe via Cyprus, Crete and the Greek mainland. The deal targets not just economic but also political objectives, commentators explain.
An answer to Turkish provocations
Cyprus Mail hopes Ankara will listen to the message being sent by the meeting in Athens:
“Acceleration of the Athens meeting for January 2 is also a kind of response to Turkey's provocative actions in the eastern Mediterranean region, which have been internationally condemned. The three countries - Israel, Cyprus and Greece - are rightly trying to build a strategic bulwark against Turkey's arbitrary actions in our region. We all hope, despite indications to date, that Turkey will at least at the eleventh hour decide to contribute to the diffusion of the crisis by abandoning the gunboat policy which it is so persistently pursuing in full contempt of the international legal order.”
New arguments for Athens and Nicosia
News website Liberal explains how Greece and Cyprus can benefit politically from the pipeline:
“For Athens and Nicosia the pipeline is of strategic importance because it does a lot to slow down Turkey's attempt to claim the entire continental shelf in the eastern Mediterranean for itself. Or at the very least it gives the two countries a negotiating weapon and instrument in view of upcoming developments. Eastmed's conception alone presupposes that the three countries have a common border (Israel with Cyprus and Cyprus with Greece), which Turkey denies. Erdoğan has tried to enforce his view through the agreement with the Sarraj government in Libya.”