Zaher Albik-Ankara

Despite the Israeli unannounced fear of the impact of the Libyan-Turkish agreement on its plans in the Mediterranean, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has explicitly declared that "Israel will not be able to transport gas across the Mediterranean without Ankara's consent."

Erdogan said in an interview with the channel "TRT" that "Ankara will not allow any unilateral steps in the Mediterranean, and Greece, Egypt, Israel and Cyprus will not be able to take any step without our agreement, after we signed the memorandum of understanding with Libya."

In August 2019, the Israeli "National Security Research Center" called for monitoring the Turkish role in Libya, considering that Ankara sees in devoting its influence there is a way to confront Israeli-Egyptian Greek Cypriot cooperation in the field of gas extraction and energy economics, and that the transformations that Libya might witness it could negatively affect Tel Aviv's strategic interests.

Turkish-Israeli conflict
In this context, the Libyan expert and head of the Bayan Center for Strategic Studies in Istanbul, Nizar Krekish, said, "The conflict in the eastern Mediterranean is not over gas itself, because its size in the region constitutes only 1% of the world's laurel reserves, so it is a small amount that does not deserve this international conflict."

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In his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, Krekish pointed out that the issue is related to the emergence of Israel on the international scene through its proposed project to transfer gas to Europe, so the presence of water borders extending from Turkey to Libya and defining them legally will make Turkey part of this project, in light of the presence of the easiest and cheapest cheapest Turkish gas transportation route. .

At the same time, the spokesman ruled out the occurrence of a military conflict in the eastern Mediterranean between Turkey and Israel, as well as the fact that the United States would not allow this between its allies in the region, suggesting a compromise agreement to transfer gas to Europe from which the two countries would benefit from Egypt.

And on the reason for the Egyptian regime's anger at the Turkey and Libya agreement, although it gives Egypt new areas of its control over the waters of the Mediterranean, the Libyan strategic expert said that Egypt is losing its compass, because its approach to political matters, it wants to contradict Turkey even at the expense of its interests, and its choice of the Israeli alliance is the result of He directed the necessity of entering into this alliance to ensure the continuation of the Sisi regime in power.

New old layout
In the Journal of Security Strategies, the former marine admiral and expert in maritime law, Jihad Yayji, invoked the idea of ​​drawing diagonal lines to define the marine areas of Turkey for many years, as he built his idea on "that Turkey's geographic incline stipulates its right to draw diagonal lines to define its marine areas and sign Border demarcation agreements with Libya, Israel and Lebanon.

A homemade Turkish vessel for oil and gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean (Anatolia)

Yayji added that considering the coast of Derna, Tobruk and Al-Bardi in Libya, Fethiye, Marmaris, and Cache in Turkey as a contiguous coastline consistent with international law and the absolute interests of the two countries.

The Turkish daily Sabah newspaper reported that Ankara had tried to reach an agreement with Libya before 2011, and that Erdogan had loaded the maps himself on a visit to Libya in November 2010, but the revolution prevented the agreement from being reached.

The newspaper also stated that during his visit to Libya in November 2018, for the sake of security understandings, Turkish Defense Minister, Khulusi Akar, reopened the file of the talks on the maritime sovereignty agreement, which gained the talks more quickly, and the newspaper links this development to what happened after This is because General Haftar launched a military campaign in Tripoli in early April 2019.

Security agreement
In this context, strategic researcher Mahmoud Al-Rantisi at the "SITA" Center for Studies supported by the Turkish government stated that the understandings of the Eastern Mediterranean gas pipeline between Israel, Cyprus and Greece pushed Turkey to strive to reach the agreement again.

Speaking to Al-Jazeera Net, Al-Rantissi considered this agreement with Libya as a historic agreement, because it represents the first deal in Turkey's exclusive economic zone with a coastal state with the exception of Turkish Cyprus.

It is believed that it will increase the continental shelf of Turkey in the mentioned area by about 30%, and more importantly, it provides Turkey with a set of advantages that may change the rules of the game in the eastern Mediterranean.

It is known that Turkey has economic interests with Libya, which is considered to have the largest oil reserves in Africa by about 40 billion barrels (the fifth Arab, 3.76% of the global reserve), in addition to gas reserves estimated at about 54.6 trillion cubic feet, which puts it ranked 21st globally in reserves Gas, and the presence of outstanding projects to Turkey worth 19 billion dollars.

Map showing international oil and gas pipelines passing through Turkey (Getty Images)

According to Rantisi, Turkish interests in Libya go beyond abstract bilateral economic interests as part of a strategy to raise the status and influence of Turkey in light of Turkish competition with international and regional parties and part of the growing trend in Turkish foreign policy to rely on rough power, which is represented in defense agreements and arms deals. And military operations and bases, after Turkey's focus in the years before 2011 on development and the economic dimension.

Regarding the security agreement between Ankara and Tripoli, whose full details are not yet clear, Rantisi said that it is an extension of previous agreements, but includes allowing Turkey to use Libyan airspace, establishing military bases and entering Libyan territorial waters, as Turkey is concerned with rebalancing the reconciliation government forces and Haftar forces that receive Support from regional parties, including Egypt and Israel, is concerned with maintaining the government’s survival in the first place that Turkey’s interests with Libya are linked to its survival.

The researcher at the "Sita" center in Ankara pointed out that Turkey's desire goes beyond preserving the reconciliation government over Tripoli to extending its power to other regions, and the agreement adds a legitimate Turkey to provide the government of reconciliation with weapons in light of receiving a large military support from a group of countries.

powerful hit
For his part, the Turkish strategic expert on Mediterranean affairs, Imerah Kikli, confirmed that the efforts of retired Major General Khalifa Haftar to seize Tripoli came with the aim of annexing Libya to the Israeli-Egyptian axis, and thus its joining the anti-Turkish camp in the Mediterranean, so Haftar is a military representative from the Israeli-Egyptian axis funded by Abu Dhabi, In order to convert the military steps into political gains, he said.

An Israeli gas platform in the Mediterranean (Reuters)

Kikli added to Al-Jazeera Net that Israel and Egypt had received a strong blow after the Libyan-Turkish agreement that failed their plans in Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean, indicating that Turkey would play an important role in ensuring energy security in the Mediterranean, which would make Israel and Egypt count a thousand accounts before any movement to them in the region.

Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, Israel, and the Tobruk Parliament expressed their rejection of the agreements between Turkey and the government of reconciliation, and Greece expelled the Libyan ambassador and visited its foreign minister, Cairo, to hold talks with his Egyptian counterpart to accelerate discussions between Greece and Egypt on delineating the borders of the exclusive economic zones between the two countries, and Israel also provided support to Greece.