The critical role of the Regions in Eastern Mediterranean and the Greater Middle East
"The Region of Attica, with a sense of responsibility as a Mediterranean Region faced with the migration/refugee phenomenon, which is the main consequence of the structural rearrangements taking place in the Greater Middle East, declares its presence in this dynamic research and knowledge process, in which your Congress is included’’ pinpointed, inter alia, the Regional Governor of Attica, Rena Dourou, declaring the opening of the International Conference on "Contemporary Geopolitical Readings on the Greater Middle East: Security, Economy, Politics, Culture." This conference was organised by the Department of Turkish Studies and Modern Asian Studies of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, with the organizational support of the European Public Law Organization (EPLO).
The Regional Governor of Attica referred to the "particular importance of the Attica Region" and its "special position in geographical, economical and social terms," especially today, "a period when public debate at a European level is about the role of the Regions in public and international affairs and their potential role as factors of economic development and international stability," as she underlined. A role “we are called upon to play under difficult circumstances," which, as she stressed, "is a key key role when its scope is the Eastern Mediterranean Basin and the Greater Middle East."
Below are some of the points made by the Regional Governor in her intervention:
- The ongoing current situation is not a new phenomenon, as events in the Middle East have always had a multiplier effect - an impact inversely proportional to its territorial extent.
- Paraphrasing Churchill's well-known quote for the Balkans, we could say that the Greater Middle East continues to produce much more History than it can manage.
- More than being an initial regional conflict and a fratricidal dispute, this situation has evolved into an international, multifaceted issue with the involvement of big hyper-systemic players such as the US and Russia, and regional players such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Qatar.
- Starting with the intra-systemic competition between Sunnis and Shiites, the effort of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to marginalize the Syria-Iran Axis, the issues at stake are now falling into a hyper-systemic “triptych”, namely redistribution of power, reconstruction of regional security and redrawing of energy routes. On the chessboard delineated by the above-mentioned three major issues at stake, hyper-systemic players such as Washington, Moscow, Beijing, London, Paris and Berlin are now moving their pawns.
- The questions being raised, in the wording of which your Conference contributes significantly, are related on one hand to the prerequisites and the scope for action available to the other countries of the region, such as Greece and Cyprus, in the light of current developments and given the fact of their unavoidable relations with the new Turkish power, and on the other hand to the delineation of the new Middle East.
- It is now clear that we have entered into a new period, similar to the one after the Conference of Versailles. A period that is likely to end up - as all knowledgeable analysts believe – with the drawing up of new territorial boundaries. Since, after one century, the lines of the map drawn by Sykes and Picot are now fading away.