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Our history did not start today.In history, the Mediterranean has witnessed major events that have determined the fate of the region.The state that controls it controls the most important trade corridors and has to protect itself well.If it loses its influence, it must wait for the advent of the enemy to its home.
The Mediterranean has gained great strategic importance since the dawn of history, and its harassment has been the subject of conflict between countries and nations seeking to dominate the world, as they were vital passages for armies and migrations across the world, which explains the immense ethnic, linguistic, religious, cultural and civilizational diversity of the Mediterranean basin, which historians and sociologists call it. "World Center".
The Fatimid state, for example, understood the importance of the Mediterranean and extended its founding to control it, under the sovereignty of the East to the Abbasids, the sovereignty of the West and Andalusia to the Umayyads, and the rule of the Byzantines over Europe, which led them to build a huge naval fleet that enabled them to extend their influence over the greater part of this sea .
Today, what the Fatimid state sought for centuries and built for it a naval war machine, is repeating itself today. Although the names and countries have changed, everyone agrees that the Mediterranean is a very important strategic stadium where the interests of the great powers intersect, and its naval fleets are located. .
Because the equation of power changes from time to time, we have prepared to sail in this report in the waters of the Mediterranean, and stand at the most prominent stations and players in it, looking for answers on the reasons why the great powers today seek to control it? What are they looking for? And why all these navies?
The first stop : Turkey and Greece
An ancient dispute between Turkish and Greek Cyprus culminated after the discovery of the Mediterranean gas. Turkish Cyprus considers the island's wealth to belong to all its people.
However, Greek Cyprus had a completely different view and completed the demarcation of its exclusive economic zone, enabling it to exploit its gas wealth unilaterally in 2010.
Turkey has refused to recognize all the Greek Cypriot agreements with Egypt, Israel and Lebanon, especially as it considers the exclusive economic zone defined by Greek Cyprus overlapping with the Turkish continental shelf and its exclusive economic zone.
According to a report by the Al Jazeera Center for Studies, the loud voice of Greek Cyprus draws on four elements: guaranteed support by Greece, EU membership, regional agreements with Israel, Egypt and Lebanon, and the granting of exploration permits to a large number of companies mostly affiliated with major powers (America, Russia, France and Italy). ... etc.), in an attempt to link the interests of these countries with the interests of the Greek Republic of Cyprus, which is a deterrent to the Turkish side.
Turkey, in turn, has threatened that any unilateral action that ignores Turkish rights would be met with an appropriate response guaranteeing its rights and interests, and has already made practical moves during successive periods, most notably sending military ships to intercept the Italian Eni company and force it to retreat.
In addition, it has intensified and intensified its presence in the Mediterranean waters and purchased a 27,000-ton landing ship capable of carrying tanks, helicopters and 1,000 soldiers, in a move to develop its navy and control areas of conflict with Cyprus.
Ankara has also recently announced gas exploration work in the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean, drawing strong criticism from Greece, the European Union and Egypt.
The second leg : Egypt
Cairo warned that Ankara would continue its exploration work in the Mediterranean, and threatened that the response would be military, and kindly surfaced a Turkish-Egyptian conflict over the gas located there, which led Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to resort to NATO (NATO) to secure his country's activity in the region.
Despite strong criticism and warnings against him, Erdogan has repeatedly stressed that his country continues to explore for gas, noting that the exploration work comes within the framework of preserving the rights of the Turkish Republic of Cyprus as a guarantor state on the one hand, on the other hand Ankara does not recognize the border demarcation agreement Between Egypt and Cyprus, describing it as "without any legal status".
For Egypt and the Sisi regime, the Mediterranean gas carries not only economic value to the Egyptian regime, but also an instrument of consolidating its regime and obtaining regional and international legitimacy.
"The Eastern Mediterranean meeting, hosted by Cairo, signals a new form of normalization between the Sisi regime and Israel, and it was a reason for security and military cooperation between Egypt and Israel in Sinai to secure the offshore gas pipeline," said Taleb Diaa El-Sawy, a member of the Egyptian High Independence Party. Ashkelon / Arish, which Sisi is very reliable in stabilizing the pillars of his rule. "
It is remarkable that Egypt has recently developed its Egyptian navy, and a deal to buy four giant submarines, to put part in the Mediterranean, one of the latest and most powerful diesel submarines in the world produced by the German company "ThyssenKrupp".
The Egyptian and French naval forces recently announced the passing of a naval training in the northern Mediterranean fleet.
The third leg : Israel
The moment of gas discovery in the Mediterranean was a watershed moment and a turning point for Israel, and it saw the world from a different perspective and sought to connect and export the entire reserves.
As in Turkey and Cyprus, Lebanon and Israel were living in a similar situation in the Mediterranean waters.The countries did not demarcate their water boundaries, Israel did not sign the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and considers that parts of it fall within the exclusive economic zone that Lebanon has drawn.
Lebanon rejects these allegations completely, and it rejects the demarcation agreement between Cyprus and Israel and considers it illegal and unreliable, and because Hezbollah has a strong presence in southern Lebanon, it is considered the greatest threat that Israel may face there, especially as it threatened to strike Israeli gas extraction platforms explicitly.
Therefore, the Israeli government has strengthened its naval military capabilities, contracted to buy three submarines from the United States, and is developing its naval missile capabilities, as well as importing four warships, to ensure maximum energy protection on average.
The fourth leg : Russia .. America .. China
Russia has secured oil and gas exploration rights on the Syrian land and sea, reinforcing this by leasing the Tartous naval base for 49 years, intensifying its military presence and part of its naval fleet.
In addition to strengthening its relations with Israel through the company "Gazprom", which will not only participate in the exploitation of Israeli gas fields, but will also participate in the transfer, according to the Israeli newspaper (Globs).
According to analysts, the keenness of the Russians to prolong the conflict in Syria was to delay the arrival of supplies to the largest importer of gas in the world (Europe), which will require a continuation of the bloodshed in Syria, and forced them to normalize with the Israeli occupation.
America - since the time of President Barack Obama - has focused its attention on gas resources in the Mediterranean, and has been keen to strengthen its presence there, and deployed American exploration and exploration companies on its coasts.
Trump did not differ much from Obama. Reinforcements were lifted during his reign in the same time that Russia stepped up its military presence in the Mediterranean. over there.
Despite Trump's relationship with the Russians, the rivalry between Moscow and Washington has recently escalated, and nothing has changed on the ground. American.
China is no longer the only Mediterranean stakeholder in the Mediterranean, and the partners of Europe, America, and Russia. Beijing is at the forefront of these forces and participates in the energy industry and other sectors of the economy.
When China carried out military exercises in the Mediterranean alongside Russia for the first time, the international community was stunned by the sudden emergence of the two powers on European soil overnight.
Not only that, China has become a prominent investor in the infrastructure of ports overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, most notably in the port of Piraeus, the largest port in Greece and one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean, the most recent port of Tripoli in Lebanon.
There is no doubt that the Chinese presence in the Mediterranean is still new compared to the Western one.
The Ministry of Defense confirmed the construction of the first Chinese military base abroad in the Gulf of Aden, and thus strategic access to the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal in Egypt, which strengthened economic and military relations.
Big players, interests of big countries, persistent attempts to confirm their presence in the Mediterranean, naval fleets flowing, and great fears of wars that may erupt. The stated objectives differed, but the gas remains the endless tale.