Recently, the foreign ministers of the Republic of Cyprus, Hellenic Republic, State of Israel plus the United States held a virtual meeting to reaffirm their shared commitment to promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean. The top diplomats of the Quad nations discussed the shared challenges of the four nations and decided to intensify their cooperation in the areas of energy, economy, climate action, and counterterrorism to ensure energy security and increase interconnectivity in the region. The group vowed to support the initiatives to promote regional cooperation and economic collaboration between the nations in the region.
The Mediterranean Sea is full of natural reserves including oil, gas, and valuable fisheries while the regional and extra-regional nations are eyeing these huge financial prospects. Currently, the United States and Europe are facing the grave challenge of ending the EU’s dependency on Russian oil and gas and the Biden administration is actively working to arrange alternative sources for the provision of oil and natural gas to energy-deficient Europe.
Several nations in the Mediterranean region have massive reserves of oil and gas in their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) including Cyprus, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, and Greece but these nations are struck into disputes regarding the possession of these reserves of hidden wealth. Earlier US government abandoned its support for the Eastern Mediterranean (East Med) gas pipeline project, which was aimed at the provision of natural gas from Israeli, Cypriot, and Egyptian gas fields to Greece, Italy, and mainland Europe, because US authorities perceived that it was an uneconomical, unviable, and prolonged project to fulfill immediate energy needs of the European nations. According to reports, the United States government is actively backing the 3+1 initiative that is not only a dispute-free project of gas transportation from the Eastern Mediterranean to European markets in the shortest possible time but also successfully satisfies the financial needs of the close US ally, Israel. Earlier, Russia and Turkey failed the west’s project for the construction of the East Med gas pipeline project, hence the time would decide the destiny of the 3+1 initiative of the US allies.