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Open Greek-Turkish conflict will probably be avoided

Monday, February 3, 2020

Significance

He was speaking ahead of visits to Rome, Malta and Algiers, and against the background of talks with non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, over the territorial dispute that has arisen between Greece and Turkey. The two countries have not been so close to confrontation since 1996: then, it was over the maritime border in the Aegean; now, the issue is access to East Mediterranean oil and gas deposits and Turkey's intervention in Libya.

Impacts

  • Turkey is using the Aegean migrant crisis to put pressure on Greece and the EU; it could be complicated by a worsening situation in Libya.
  • Despite the government's large opinion-poll lead over the opposition, it has no room for manoeuvre on this issue.
  • Turkey's lack of domestic energy sources is driving its claim to East Mediterranean hydrocarbon reserves, so far unsuccessfully.
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