Cooperation opportunities await Greece, Israel and Turkey - analyst

There are a number of cooperation opportunities between long-time allies Israel and Greece with outlier Turkey, wrote George N. Tzogopoulos, research associate at Bar-Ilan University’s think tank Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

Despite the odds stacked against it, such as ongoing tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, cooperation on some issues is possible as disagreements on others continue, Tzogopoulos wrote in the Jerusalem Post.

The struggle for rich gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean continues to fuel tensions between Turkey, Cyprus and Greece. Ankara feels increasingly isolated in the region as Greece and Cyprus took advantage of regional cooperation schemes and international alliances, including the East Med Gas Forum, an undersea pipeline to ferry natural gas from offshore fields in the eastern Mediterranean to Europe.

Israel and Greece could show Turkey the way in containing the coronavirus and relaunching its national economy, in addition to cooperating to combat anti-Semitism, the Jerusalem Post article said.

Turkey’s recession-recovering economy has been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak. The lira sank to an all-time low of 7.269 per dollar in May and experts say the economy is expected to contract by 3.5 percent this year.

The three countries may also work together in energy transition in the post-coronavirus era, Tzogopoulos wrote.

“Jerusalem and Ankara have already made impressive steps in the production or usage of renewables, whereas Athens under its current government envisions catching up,” the analyst wrote, pointing to the need for emphasis on green energy as oil and natural gas prices fall. 

Lastly, Israel, Greece and Turkey are experiencing a similar type of Chinese investment, Tzogopoulos said, which gives them a "chance to focus on trade connectivity and maximize their much needed benefits by the implementation of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative.’’ 

Israel and Greece must think out of the box, he wrote, allowing for a chance to "look beyond polarization and provocative or illegal policies.’’