Cyprus has been hit hard by economic misfortunes recently, but now has a big opportunity to develop significant offshore gas resources. However, its chances of proceeding with this project are currently prejudiced by political tensions and uncertainties surrounding its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). This is because Turkey is sharply contesting the right of Cyprus to go ahead, albeit for reasons that seem to be more connected to the stalled peace process for reunifying the island than matters of international maritime law. This policy brief argues that all of the interested parties - the two Cypriot communities, Turkey and the European Union - forego significant benefits that would come from a resolution of the conflict, development of the new gas resources, and improved Turkish-EU relations.
1. The windfall gain of offshore gas
2. What does the Law of the Sea have to say?
3. What does Turkey say?
4. Transport and commercialization options
5. Need for a Plan B for conflict resolution
6. Why a breakthrough now?
7. Cost-benefit calculations
8. Is reconciliation between Cyprus and Turkey conceivable?