By Steve Forbes, Forbes Staff
This segment of What’s Ahead urgently examines the growing tensions between Turkey and Greece over oil and gas drilling in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Will there be war?
Greece—backed by the EU, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates—says the numerous islands it possesses in the area gives it sovereignty over the disputed waters. Turkey says, no way.
Both countries have beefed up their naval and air forces there. Turkey heated up the crisis by sending warships along with a vessel that began doing actual seismic surveys.
Turkey’s strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Greece to sit down to negotiate concessions—or else. He publicly dismissed Greece’s military as “dilapidated.”
Neither side wants war, and negotiations have started to prevent an accident that could trigger hostilities. Diplomacy prevented a war between the two countries in 1996 over two uninhabited islands. But, so far, no solution is in sight.
Hostilities between these two members of NATO would be catastrophic.
The U.S. has stood apart, leaving it to EU diplomats and NATO officials to deal with the situation. But given the stakes, this may soon have to change.