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HomeGeopolitical CompassThe LevantThe Geopolitics of a Latent International Conflict in Eastern Mediterranean

The Geopolitics of a Latent International Conflict in Eastern Mediterranean

Author: Nael Shama

Affiliation:  An Independent Scholar

Organization/Publisher: Al Jazeera Centre for Studies

Date/Place: December 23, 2019, Qatar

Type of Literature:  Report

Number of Pages: 14

Link:https://studies.aljazeera.net/sites/default/files/articles/documents/2020-01/8a79585b90e9471c9d883a2ab5ba4f57_100.pdf

Keywords: Turkey, Cyprus, Palestine, Lebanon, EEZ

Brief:

Commissioned to highlight recent geopolitical trends, this report identifies sources of tensions and predicts future scenarios in eastern part of the Mediterranean. While the deep sources of contention are exemplified in a protracted Turkish-Cyprus territorial dispute and the lingering Arab-Israeli dispute, both of which hamper the monetization of the East Mediterranean’s hydrocarbon riches, the regional instability has also been affected by a bitter geopolitical feud by Israel against Lebanon and Palestinians.  Rising tensions upon geopolitical interests between Turkey and Cyprus, as well as Israel with Lebanon, lead to a bad omen with the increasing arms procurements and routine exercises in the same part of the Mediterranean basin. A conflict within this framework of contested sovereignties could create a scenario of physical conflict if a minor incident might be mistaken for an act of provocation. Additionally, the conflict of Mediterranean states is not limited to interstate conflicts, but also includes societies pitted against their leaders` decisions, like in Egypt;. Finally, underlying the conflict are international actors backing different states in the region for their own strategic interests, mainly the US and EU supporting Cyprus and Israel. With these escalating multidimensional tensions, the situation in the Mediterranean region surely fits the VOCA status: a regional mishmash of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.

By: Imad Atoui, CIGA Research Associate

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