A NEW GREAT GAME HAS BEGUN IN THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

A NEW GREAT GAME HAS BEGUN IN THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

After centuries of marginalisation, the Mediterranean Sea is back in the international spotlight. A new Great Game is unfolding in its eastern part, similar to the 19th century machinations of the British and Russian empires in Central Asia.

Massive migration flows from Africa and the Middle East towards Europe have traversed its waters, particularly in the wake of the Arab Spring and the subsequent conflicts in Syria and Libya.

At the same time, the enduring Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its biased management by the US continues to stir resentment. These crises have concerned the states overlooking the Mediterranean, but more recently, the resources hidden in its sea beds have fuelled controversy.

Oil and gas discoveries off the coasts of Egypt, Gaza, Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Cyprus have added a new dimension to old, unresolved conflicts. The dispute between Greece and Turkey for control over the Aegean Sea, the division of Cyprus, and the issue of maritime boundaries between Lebanon and Israel are just a few examples.

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