How a rush for Mediterranean gas threatens to push Greece and Turkey into war,

Patrick Wintour , diplomatic editor

An increasingly fractious standoff over access to gas reserves has transformed a dispute between Turkey and Greece that was once primarily over Cyprus into one that now ensnares Libya, Israel, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and feeds into other political issues in the Mediterranean and has raised fears of a naval conflict between the two Nato allies in the Aegean Sea. […]

The scale of the reserves, and Turkish ambitions, last year prompted Israel, Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority to form an East Med Gas forum to draw up a joint plan to extract and export gas from the region. France would also like to join, and the United Arab Emirates, also battling Turkish intervention in Libya, is a supporter, creating an imposing anti-Turkish web.

Turkey argues that Greece is claiming the Aegean Sea economically as purely Greek, even though Turkey has a greater length of coastline. […]

Macron has already increased the French naval presence in the sea, and called for withdrawal of the Turkish reconnaissance ship Oruç Reis, accompanied by Turkish naval ships. The ship is undertaking seismic surveys in Greek waters south of Cyprus. A key moment may come on 12 September, when the Turkish Navtex warning for Oruç Reis is due to end. If it is extended, the risk of a naval clash between Greece and Turkey two Nato partners either by accident or design rises. Läs artikel

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