The presumed new axis in Cyprus
It is becoming clearer that the “gas” hopes of the Greek Cypriot side have started to evaporate with many reliable reports stressing the amount of “recoverable” gas at the so-called Aphrodite field, or block 12, will be a fraction of the original high expectations… That is, it is becoming clearer to everyone that construction of LNG plants or building a pipeline through the Mediterranean to Greece will not be feasible at all. That is excluding the already expressed Turkish proposal to “buy” all the Greek Cypriot gas for its domestic consumption and re-export any excessive amount to Europe. There is no economically viable way out to convert “Aphrodite gas” to much needed hard currency to finance the worst economic crisis of the island as well as the resolution of the Cyprus problem. The Turkish purchase, of course, is preconditioned on Greek Cypriots conceding a share of the offshore gas to Turkish Cyprus.
That is one bitter reality which is difficult for any Greek Cypriot leader to swallow, of irrespective how well sugar-coated it might be. As if the island has ever had political stability and reliable security since the last years of British rule, with the help of some pseudo-experts in Washington and Europe – whatever money was spent on them in these difficult times – Greek Cypriots are heralding what a great pillar of stability and security Cyrus offers to the troubled Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean. Put aside the Cyprus problem and all other factors, including the impacts of British sovereign bases, can Cyprus indeed be an island of security and stability if Syria is hit by the U.S. and its “coalition of the willing?”
There have always been buyers for any fairytale or Pollyanna story. It’s human psychology perhaps, but anyone with some brains would see that a settlement of the Cyprus problem cannot and will not be achieved unless some sort of a game-changing approach replaces the ages-old negotiations platform between a state and a minority. Why should the state compromise and share its powers with a minority? Greek Cypriots don’t have any motivation to agree to a bitter compromise resolution, excluding some territory, they practically have everything while Turkish Cypriots are being sandwiched between Greek Cypriots and Turkey, with no way out except through a bitter compromise deal, federation, confederation or two states – whatever that settlement might be.
Could, as Greek Cypriot penslingers on the island and elsewhere prefer to assume nowadays, the United States get a divorce, abandon Turkey and realign itself with Greek Cypriots because of the gas finds? Could there indeed be a new axis of Cyprus, Israel, Egypt and Greece? Where would the U.S. be in this? Or, where would Russia be placed?
Indeed, with its self-isolationist warmongering, Turkey has been providing every ammunition to the Greek Cypriot daydreamers that with Turkey’s importance dwindling, Washington and its allies will start giving more prominence to the Greek Cypriots and their cause of getting rid of Turkish Cypriots with the minimal cost and making the entire island a “Hellenic paradise.”
A sunken economy, raw dreams and arrogance cannot take Greek Cypriots or the axis they dream of establishing anywhere because irrespective of present-day woes, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Iran and of course Syria, Iraq and Russia have always been and will be the main actors of any scenario to be played in this geography as Cyprus and such trivial actors play some inconsequential roles if and when needed. The only way out for Greek Cypriots is to stop barking at Ankara. That’s in their best interest.