Israel – Turkey pipeline hangs on Cyprus peace talks
Wednesday 11/January/2017 - 11:04 PM
Israel hope to market its natural gas to Turkey، and via Turkey to the EU، but this aim may hang on the outcome of the potentially historic Cypriot peace negotiations currently underway in Geneva.
Since an undersea gas pipeline from Israel’s Leviathan natural gas field to Turkey requires crossing Cyprus’s economic exclusion zone، failure to reach an agreement could force Israel to return to an older plan of marketing its natural gas via Egypt. However، in the new energy and geopolitical realities of the region that emerged in 2016، Israel’s selection of Egypt as its major export option could result in the Russia’s rise as a central player in Eastern Mediterranean energy.
The divided island of Cyprus has a “once in a generation” opportunity to resolve the conflict and unite the island. Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and his Turkish counterpart Mustafa Akinci have worked assiduously toward an enduring solution، narrowing the gap between the two sides on the most vexing issues blocking reunification. The current talks between the parties in Geneva will turn into an international conference on January 12 to include the three guarantor powers – Turkey، Greece، and the United Kingdom – for the first time since 1960.