Ankara/Jerusalem/Athens: – Turkey has issued a warning to Israel, Greece and Cyprus over the Eurasia Power Cable being laid between Europe and Asia. Turkish media claimed that Turkey had sent a diplomatic note to these three countries asking them to seek Turkey’s permission before starting work on the project. Only last week, Israel, Greece and Cyprus signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the project.
The proposal for an undersea power cable connecting Israel’s power grids, Greece and Cyprus, had been presented in 2017. Following the discussions regarding the project on various levels being held for the last three years, finally, the Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the three countries. Energy Ministers of Israel and Cyprus were present for the function held in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus. Greek Energy Minister attended the function via video conferencing. An undersea power cable having a length of more than 1,200 kilometres will be laid under this project named The Eurasia Interconnect Project. The project envisages an electricity highway with a capacity of 2,000 megawatts between Israel, Greece and Cyprus. The project will cost 2.5 billion Euros, and it is being said that the first phase of the project will be activated by 2025. This agreement is considered to be an important phase of increasing cooperation between Israel, Greece and Cyprus.
Last year, Israel signed an agreement for the ambitious fuel project, the EastMed Pipeline, with Greece and Cyprus. Thereafter, a defence agreement was also signed between Israel and Greece. Greece and Cyprus also participated in the Noble Dina naval exercises organised by Israel. This increasing cooperation of Greek and Cyprus with Israel is believed to be a part of the plan to counter increasing Turkish activities.
Against this background, the warning issued by Turkey to these three countries becomes significant. The Turkish media informed that the Turkish government issued diplomatic notes to the embassies of these countries. In the note, Turkey has expressed its opposition to the undersea power cable project. Turkey has claimed that the project is encroaching on Turkish marine territory. While making this claim, Turkey has also made an aggressive demand that all three countries seek Turkey’s permission before taking any further steps regarding the project. This Turkish demand is indicative of the ambitious policies being implemented by Turkish President Recep Erdogan over the last few years. Turkey is carrying out aggressive activities in the Gulf and Mediterranean Sea region for the last few years. Last year, Turkey had claimed rights over islands in the Greek marine region and had sent ships and warships for oil exploration. Turkey also had staked a claim on a certain portion of the Greek marine region in the Mediterranean Sea.
It is being said that this warning issued by Turkey to three countries could be an attempt to strengthen its claim on the disputed territory.