Turkey says Israel, Greece, Cyprus east-Med pipeline deal will fail

An eastern Mediterranean pipeline deal signed by Greece, Cyprus and Israel on Thursday is the latest example of efforts to exclude Turkey, and such actions will fail in the future as it did in the past, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Turkey opposes the 1,900-km (1,180-mile) proposed pipeline to carry natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe, and struck a sea boundaries accord with the U.N.-recognised Libyan government in November to strengthen its hand.

“The signature of the agreement on the EastMed natural gas pipeline project is the latest instance of futile steps, aiming to exclude Turkey and TRNC in the region,” the ministry said referring to a breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north of the divided island recognised only by Turkey. 

Turkey deal with Tripoli could be a barrier to the proposed pipeline that would cost between $6 billion to $7 billion. The agreement with Tripoli sees Turkey and Libya as maritime neighbours and allows Turkey to claim that an area on the route of the pipeline belongs to its exclusive economic zone.

“Turkey is the most commercially feasible and secure route for the utilisation of the natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean and their transfer to the consumer markets in Europe, including Turkey,” the ministry said. “We remind the proprietors of the project that such sordid plans will continue to fail in the future, as they did in the past.”