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It looks like the next war in the Middle East won't be over water, but over gas--control of the region's natural gas resources and ways of supplying it to Europe.
Water - Catalyst - Middle - East - Importance
Water has always been a catalyst in the Middle East, and still is. The importance of water has increased because of global warming, years of drought and population growth. The Arab Spring in Syria erupted because of economic distress in rural areas that was the result of drought.
But now it seems as if gas has replaced water as the main source of regional tensions. The discovery of immense offshore natural gas reserves in the Mediterranean sparked hopes for huge profits, which could improve the economies of all the countries in the region.
Cooperation - Nations - Gas - Discoveries - Parts
Theoretically, inter-governmental cooperation could allow all these nations to profit from the natural gas discoveries, but in these parts, emotion overtakes reason.
One of the reasons swords are being polished is that the reserves are mostly located under the Mediterranean Sea, an area that has never been demarcated to the satisfaction of the countries that border it.
Government - Lebanon - Example - Pressure - Hezbollah
The government of Lebanon, for example--apparently under pressure from Hezbollah--is claiming ownership of some of the gas deposits that lie on its maritime border with Israel, thereby stalling production at the deposits that lie squarely within Lebanese territory and are not disputed.
It is Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, however, that now poses the main threat to regional stability, and the steps it is taking could drag the entire region into a conflict. In...
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