Foreign ministers from EastMed signatory states meet in Cairo amid Turkey tensions

Foreign ministers from Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and France will hold a two-day summit in Cairo today, which will focus on

eastern med gas

Photo: Getty

Foreign ministers from Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and France will hold a two-day summit in Cairo today, which will focus on security and energy issues in the eastern Mediterranean.

In an effort to counter Turkey’s influence in the region, the EastMed agreement among Greece, Cyprus and Israel was signed on Thursday. Leveraging Athens as an energy transit hub, the accord will see the construction of a pipeline capable of moving 12 billion cubic metres of natural gas from Israel and Cyprus to Europe via Greece.

Driven by a feeling of strategic isolation in the energy sector, Turkey signed an agreement with oil-rich Libya in November, pledging stronger military co-operation between the two countries. It also drew a maritime border, which Egypt and Greece reject, that placed masses of natural gas under Turkey’s control. Enacting this agreement, Turkey announced on Friday that it will send troops to train and advise Libyan government forces in its fight against insurgents.

With Turkey gaining a foothold in Libya, expect Ankara to advocate for joint maritime energy exploration projects. Today’s summit is likely to push for further joint agreements as a means to counter Turkey’s regional influence.

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