AN EXPLOSIVE situation that threatens all-out war between the NATO powers is fast developing in the Mediterranean region in a struggle to seize the eastern Med’s oil and gas resources.
On Sunday, Libya’s UN-recognised Government of National Accord, based in Tripoli, announced a pact with Turkey over maritime jurisdiction areas as well as military and security cooperation in the oil-rich Eastern Med that would immediately come into force.
This government was placed in power by Islamist militias, backed up by French and UK airpower, mustered by the then Cameron-Sarkozy NATO leadership.
They established their government in Tripoli after French planes bombed a Gadaffi convoy, and the Colonel was finished off with the brigands’ knives.
Turkey declared on Saturday that the maritime pact was now to be enforced. What makes this maritime treaty so explosive is that it gives Turkey complete oil and gas drilling rights in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and inevitably means Turkish troops intervening in Libya, their old colony, to ‘protect’ their interests.
This region and the rights to exploit its huge oil and gas deposits have been the subject of bitter dispute between Turkey and Greece.
Egypt is also raging about the deal which threatens its maritime interests and its own intentions to profit from exploiting oil and gas reserves, using the forces of General Haftar, based in Benghazi, and currently besieging Tripoli. Cairo has issued a warning that ‘Egypt will not stand idle while a foreign country is threatening its interests. Anyone who approaches the maritime, air and land borders of Egypt should review himself. We will not accept or allow any mess, at or close to our borders.’
The agreement lays out marine jurisdictions that make Turkey and Libya maritime neighbours, placing Turkey’s sea borders in areas east of the island of Crete that are claimed by Greece and Cyprus.
For the first time Turkey is threatening Greece’s sovereignty in the Cretan sea, a move to put an end to a planned pipeline that would deliver gas from the huge undersea reserves in the eastern Mediterranean to Europe.
Greece has reacted with fury, expelling the Libyan ambassador, with Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis telling Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the deal was a ‘crude violation of Greece’s rights’.
In addition, Greece is threatening to extend its own territorial sovereignty out into the Mediterranean – a move that would inevitably lead to military confrontation with Turkey, a fellow member of NATO.
The pact also involves Cyprus as it extends Turkey’s claim to maritime rights to the west with Turkish officials vowing to start searching for oil and gas in this region around the island.
Another country that will be drawn into this struggle for domination of natural resources is Israel, which is a part of the so-called Energy Triangle, a natural gas extraction plan agreed between Cyprus, Greece and Israel to exploit the 40 trillion cubic feet of natural gas found under the waters between Cyprus and Israel that would supply the proposed pipeline to Europe.
Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that Turkey’s agreement with the UN-recognised government of Libya will inevitably see Turkish forces used against Haftar, creating a regional war with NATO powers on opposite sides.
Turkey is intent on extending its grab for oil and gas from the land to the entire eastern Mediterranean and old allegiances count for nothing as it prepares to take on fellow NATO members and the EU.
This fast-developing conflict between the imperialist powers and would-be imperialists threatens to plunge not just the region but the world into war.
The fight over oil and gas and for conquest and division of the world is today an imperative for a capitalist system that in its death agony can only survive through wars of conquest against its rivals and for territorial domination over land and sea.
There is only one way to put an end to imperialist war and that is to put an end to imperialism through the victory of the world socialist revolution.