Cyprus as an emerging player in the Eastern Mediterranean natural gas market: regional cooperation and prospects
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This thesis analyzes the development of the Eastern Mediterranean natural gas market and the impact of regional conflicts on it. It will argue that the region is not stable enough to optimize its natural gas trade. As a matter of fact, the Cypriot conflict, as well as the Israeli-Lebanese conflict are preventing the region from fulfilling its economic potential and ambitions. Therefore, it is important for the region to solve its internal conflicts in order to make the natural gas benefit fairly to all the states involved in the market. The best way for the Eastern Mediterranean states to solve their conflicts is through regional cooperation. The European Union holds the power to influence the Eastern Mediterranean states towards regional cooperation. Indeed, the EU can provide incentives through the initiation of dialogue between countries, common projects and investments. In the Eastern Mediterranean natural gas trade from the producing states to Europe, Egypt could play the pivotal role of natural gas distribution platform at the crossroad between producing and consuming countries. The success of this project could lead to the economic development of Eastern Mediterranean states while providing the EU with a stronger energy security.