“…The bottom line is that Ankara can cause serious headaches for the Greek Cypriot administration at a time when it least needs it, given Turkey’s growing importance as an energy hub that major companies can ill-afford to overlook. The hope among diplomats is that the Greek Cypriot administration will eventually wake up to the benefits of a Cyprus settlement, and cooperation with Turkey in the energy field.On the other hand, a Turkish-Israeli rapprochement does not mean that the two countries will have an easy ride in realizing their joint pipeline project, if this is decided on. Haaretz recently quoted industry sources saying that such a pipeline would have to pass through the economic zones of Lebanon and Syria before reaching Turkey, which is bound to be problematic.
The future of Syria, however, is in the balance today. Meanwhile, Lebanon is also searching for the vast offshore reserve it believes exists in its own economic interest zone in the Eastern Mediterranean. If proven, these reserves will have to be exploited with international cooperation.
A Turkey, that has consummated its ties with Israel by means of a strategic pipeline will have every reason to use its influence over Lebanon in order to convince it to join the network of cooperation in the Levant Basin for the sake of its own economic future and regional stability.
This may appear a long shot from today’s perspective, but it is clear that the region is on the threshold of major developments today. It is seems therefore to be in the best interest of regional countries to play their cards right as the new “Great Game” unfolds at a time when it is clear that energy can be a cause for conflict as much as it can be a medium that catalyzes peace and cooperation.
Of course there is also an Iranian, and Russian angle to the Great Game in the Levant Basin, not to mention developments in Northern Iraq, which some may feel have been overlooked here.…”