Deepening Relations in the GCA-Greece-Israel Triangle

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Former Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides won the Presidential elections held in February 2023 in the Greek Cypriot Administration of South Cyprus (GCA). The election is also important in terms of its reflections on the foreign policy of the GCA. On February 26, 2023, Christodoulides and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that the relationship between the parties is of strategic importance. Moreover, the two leaders are focused on further strengthening ties in areas such as the economy, defence, energy and tourism. Following the aforementioned meeting, Israel announced on February 27, 2023, that a summit with the leaders of Greece, the GCA and Israel is planned to be held by the end of 2023.[1]

As can be understood, the relations between the GCA and Israel have recently increased to a strategic level. In this case, energy cooperation between the parties is very important. It can be said that the GCA, Israel and Greece act together in the Eastern Mediterranean on energy as well as defense.

On the other hand, the Euroasia Interconnector Project, which symbolizes the energy cooperation among the GCA, Israel and Greece, is of great importance in terms of deepening the ties between the parties.

The project is considered to be the longest submarine power cable in the world.  The project is expected to provide a connection between electricity networks for 310 km from Israel to the GCA and from there to Greece for 898 km, that is, a total of 1208 km. In this context, the construction of the project is planned to be completed in 2025. In October 2022, the construction of the GCA-Crete section of the Euroasia Interconnector started.[2]

In this context, the Euroasia Interconnector Project, which is tried to be implemented by the GCA, Israel and Greece, is remarkable in that it shows that the cooperation among the parties is built on solid foundations. These three actors will be able to export natural gas to each other by this project. Considering the current war conjuncture in the world and the increasing importance of diversifying energy security, it can be stated that the relations among the parties will rise to higher levels on the occasion of the project.

One of the important features of the project is that its financing is provided by the EU. The main reason for Brussels to support this project is that it considers it will contribute to the energy security of the bloc. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated that the project will help the EU get rid of its energy dependency and that electrification from renewable energies will be achieved over time. Furthermore, Leyen stated that Israel has plenty of natural resources to produce renewable energy and that the GCA and Greece stand out as important actors in securing energy supply.[3]

On the other hand, the project is described by the GCA as a step that will end its own energy isolation. Israel, on the other hand, interprets the project as an opportunity for the country to receive electricity from European electricity networks in case of emergency.[4]  Therefore, it can be argued that the project may create consequences that will make the parties dependent on each other in the field of energy. Moreover, it can be foreseen that increasing cooperation in the field of energy will be reflected in political developments.

In addition to all these, it is seen that Greece is trying to realize partnerships with various countries with submarine cable projects in the recent period. In addition to Tel Aviv, the Athens administration has agreed to implement similar projects with Riyadh and Cairo. Therefore, it can be said that submarine cable projects have come to the fore in Greece’s relations with Middle Eastern countries in recent years. Therefore, Greece is implementing a policy that tries to present itself as a transit route in terms of energy.

On the other hand, the project with Israel differs from other initiatives due to the fact that the GCA is also involved as an actor. While developing its relations with countries that have coasts to the Mediterranean such as Greece, Israel and Egypt, it pays attention to including the GCA in the equation.

Furthermore, it is known that the developing relations between Israel, the GCA and Greece in the context of energy are also reflected in the political and security fields. The wiretapping scandal that erupted in Greece in July 2022, leaving Prime Minister Kriakos Mitsotakis in a difficult position, can be given as an example. As it will be recalled, after the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) Chairman Nikos Androulakis was subjected to wiretapping, the head of the Greek Intelligence Agency, Panagiotis Kontoleon, resigned. The fact that this wiretapping was carried out using the Israeli spyware “predatör” has revealed that there is close cooperation between Tel Aviv and Athens in the intelligence dimension.[5]

To summarize briefly, it is observed that the cooperation in the field of energy on the GCA-Israel-Greece line has moved to different dimensions. Because energy agreements are long-term agreements and in a way reflect geopolitical preferences. This opens the door for the relations between the parties to be shaped in a multidimensional way.

In conclusion, it can be stated that the project will further strengthen the cooperation of the parties in the Eastern Mediterranean. Therefore, this may lead the Greece-GCA duo to further integrate Israel into their Eastern Mediterranean and security policies.

[1] “Greece, Cyprus, Israel Plan Trilateral Leaders’ Summit”, JNS,, (Date of Accession: 02.03.2023).

[2] “World’s Longest Submarine Power Cable to Connect Greek, Cypriot and Israeli Power Grids”, Greek City Times,, (Date of Accession: 02.03.2023).

[3] “Nadja Skopljak, Von der Leyen: Euroasia Interconnector to Help Free EU from Energy Dependence”, Offshore Energy,, (Date of Accession: 02.03.2023).

[4] “Submarine Cable Euroasia Interconnector to be Finished by 2024”, Balkan Green Energy News,, (Date of Accession: 02.03.2023).

[5]  “Agnes Szucs, EU Commission Monitors Closely Developments on Greek Wiretapping Scandal”, Anadolu Agency,, (Date of Accession: 02.03.2023).

Cemal Ege ÖZKAN
Cemal Ege Özkan, 2019 yılında Ankara Üniversitesi Dil ve Tarih-Coğrafya Fakültesi Tarih Bölümü’nden mezun olmuştur. Yüksek lisans derecesini, 2022 senesinde aynı üniversitenin Türk İnkılap Tarihi Enstitüsü Atatürk İlkeleri ve İnkılap Tarihi Anabilim Dalı’nda hazırladığı “Türk Siyasi Hayatında Selim Rauf Sarper ve Faaliyetleri” başlıklı teziyle almıştır. Hâlihazırda aynı enstitüde doktora eğitimine devam etmektedir. 2020-2021 yılları arasında Türk Tarih Kurumu Yüksek Lisans Bursiyeri olan Özkan, iyi derecede İngilizce bilmektedir.