As we briefly reviewed last summer, Turkey's bullying action from the Aegean to Cyprus to Libya was having the effect of pushing surrounding nations closer together - and getting the attention of larger powers on the other side of the Mediterranean as well.
After a series of provocations by Turkey, it was only natural that the nations of the Eastern Mediterranean would either have to fold or stand up.
Egypt, Cyprus and Greece have demanded respect for the sovereignty and sovereign rights of states in their maritime areas in the eastern Mediterranean.
The demand came in a joint statement from the three countries’ foreign ministers during their meeting in Athens, where they discussed cooperation to deepen their political and economic commitment, regional challenges and delivering a clear message that the region had the potential to be peaceful and stable.They welcomed the preparations for the establishment of a Tripartite Secretariat, based in Nicosia, Cyprus, that launches later this year, and for the founding charter of the EastMed Gas Forum that enters into force on March 1.
The charter establishes the forum as a regional organization based in Cairo. The forum is open to all countries that share the same values and goals and have the desire to cooperate for regional security and prosperity.
They stressed the importance of respecting the sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction of each state over its maritime areas in accordance with international law, while condemning any activities that violated international law.
Their statement said the expected words about Syria, Israel, the Palestinians, and Libya, but there is no question here the concern revolves around their mutual history with the Turks/Ottomans.
On balance, this is good for the international community. Turkey needed to be checked, and these neighbors - in an East Med "community watch" - put their obnoxious neighbor at the end off the cul-de-sac on notice.