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Israel and Cyprus to Hold Joint Military Exercise


Israel is set to send warships to the eastern Mediterranean for a joint military exercise with Cyprus, according to a report which appeared in the Cypriot Fileleftheros daily on Tuesday and which was cited by the Turkish Today’s Zaman. Cypriot Defense Minister Fotis Fotiou confirmed that the joint exercise, which will include the participation of four or five Israeli warships, is due to start on April 25, the report said.

Fotiou also noted that the exercise will focus on the security of the Eastern Mediterranean region and that of gas companies. Turkey, which does not recognize Greek Cyprus as a sovereign country, strongly objects to natural gas exploration being conducted by Cyprus in the Mediterranean, noted Today’s Zaman. However, noted the Turkish daily, in an unexpected announcement at a meeting on Monday, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said that Turkey now considers it possible to cooperate with Cyprus and Israel in joint energy projects in the Mediterranean “so long as the political atmosphere allows it.” Two years ago, Israel began exploratory drilling in Block 12 of the Tamar natural gas field, which extends into Cypriot territorial waters. This prompted strong protests from Turkey, causing the Turkish northern half of Cyprus to mark its marine borders with Turkey and issue licenses for offshore oil and gas drilling.

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  • Dana

    The Eastern Mediterranean is one big, whopping powder keg, with energy majors swooping in for the goodies, with Israel in the lead.

    Did it take the financial destruction of Greece and Cyprus to wrench open the Mediterranean natural gas market? Why was the first thing demanded of Greece by the troika that it privatize its national gas company, DEPA? Any connection to the $thousands of millions worth of gas reserves in Greece and Cypriot territorial waters? What about the violence in Syria and its considerable energy reserves?

    It is high time to come to terms with the fact that the EU, with its unelected technocrats in Brussels, is tragic farce, constituted uniquely to serve industry, regardless of the toll that is taken on populations.

    It’s a world gone mad and it’s set to become even madder, still.

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