Gas discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean over the past decade have served as a source of both conflict and cooperation among littoral states. It has led to new levels of engagement among Greece, Egypt, Israel and the Republic of Cyprus, but exacerbated Turkey’s regional rivalries, particularly with Athens and Nicosia. The reserves led to tensions between Israel and Lebanon, expanded economic engagement between Israel and Jordan, and further entrenchment in Israel’s control over Palestine. Crisis Group’s expertise on the shifting geopolitics of the region puts us in a unique position to identify and advance policies for these sources of instability.
Domestic politics in Israel and Lebanon could scuttle talks about their claims in the Mediterranean – and to the gas riches underneath. With the U.S. mediator’s help, the two countries should refocus on achieving an accord that serves their mutual interest and spares them a confrontation.
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