خالد الزعتر
كاتب ومحلل سياسي

Mediterranean gas and pulling the rug of the future

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The phenomenon of climate change, especially in recent times, which made the “climate file” the most important priority in the regional and international arena, has motivated the countries of the world to invest in renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on oil, which contributes to two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, the changes that the global economy has witnessed by shifting investment to a knowledge economy, and the curtailment of interest in investing in the oil economy.

The climate alone was not the main factor in reducing the issue of investment in the oil economy. The role of China’s economic rise plays an important role in changing the map of the future, so that the Middle East is no longer the region of main importance, as it was after the October War of 1973, but the focus of international interest has shifted towards East Asia, as it represents the future economy. If we go back, we find that the Middle East region gained its importance from the issue of oil, and that oil in the Middle East region gained its importance after it was used as a political weapon in the October 1973 war. Today, we find that International political interest has shifted to the Eastern region of Asia, as many countries have shifted towards the knowledge economy. The example of China played a major role in the significant decline of the importance and priority of oil in the Middle East.

With the changes taking place in the geographical map of the Middle East region and the East Asian region, we find that the Middle East region is trying to create a balance in the future rug, so that the whole balance is not tilted towards the East Asian region, which is what we see in the economic transformations of the countries of the region, and the formulation of new economic visions trying to adapt to the phase of the decline in the importance of Middle Eastern oil, such as Saudi Vision 2030. But, with the wave of discoveries of huge reserves of gas in the Eastern Mediterranean Basin, it seems clear that the Middle East will not be the only competitor to the East Asian region, as the Middle East region has succeeded with the huge gas discoveries and with the international and regional political interest in this region in pulling the rug of the future from the Middle East, whose political, economic and strategic importance was closely linked to the issue of oil and has greatly declined.

With the discovery of huge reserves of gas in the eastern Mediterranean basin, the political and economic map stands on a new stage of competition that does not stop at the borders of the countries of the Middle East basin, but goes beyond them to compete for the future, in which the scales are tilted in favor of East Asia.

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