Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-II – International Relations
- Recently, France has deployed its military in the eastern Mediterranean Sea amid tensions between Greece and Turkey over recently-discovered gas reserves in the region.
- The EU and its allies in West Asia and North Africa made plans to build a gas pipeline from the Mediterranean to Europe’s mainland to transport the gas.
- The gas transport would help reduce the EU’s dependency on Russia.
- However, they have kept Turkey out of it.
- Turkey has challenged the EU pipeline project.
- It has reached an agreement with Libya to form an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) from its southern shores to Libya’s northern coast across the Mediterranean.
- Greece’s claims:
- Turkish zone violated its maritime sovereignty.
- It has announced its EEZ with Egypt, which clashed with Turkey’s zone.
- As a reaction to the deal, Turkey has sent its survey ship near the island of Kastellorizo area.
- The area is mentioned in the Greece-Egypt agreement.
- Over the past four decades, Greece and Turkey have gone to war at least three times.
- They disagree over overlapping claims to hydrocarbon resources.
- Now, France, the EU’s most powerful military force, has thrown its weight behind Greece and Cyprus.
- An alliance is also emerging among Greece, Cyprus, Italy and France, which is backed by Egypt, Israel and the UAE.
- Turkey stands almost isolated, but remains a key power in the Mediterranean.
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