Rifts under sea and on land: The multiple crises in the Eastern Mediterranean

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In the eastern Mediterranean, a scramble is under way between countries in the region for access to recently discovered gas fields, often overlapping with wider battle lines across the Middle East, historical tensions and far-back-reaching sentiments. Following up on last week’s conversation with spokesperson and close senior advisor to President Erdogan Ibrahim Kalin, this week’s episode analyses the crisis from a Greek, French, and Turkish perspective. Host Mark Leonard is joined by ECFR´s Turkey expert Asli Aydıntaşbaş, the head of ECFR’s Paris Office Tara Varma and ECFR Council Member, professor at the University of Athens and President of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) Loukas Tsoukalis. Together, they discuss what led to the escalation and which different aspects are important to understand the crisis. Is Ankara adopting an assertive approach or is it playing a “stabilising role”? And what are the intentions behind President Macron´s call for a Pax Mediterranea? Can Europe’s find a common approach and voice on this conflict and in the mediation process?

This podcast was recorded on 23 September 2020.

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