Before he was elected as the new President of the United States of America Donald Trump provided the name of Cypriot George Papadopoulos for his foreign policy team to the Washington Post.
George Papadopoulos, a Cypriot and a 2009 graduate of DePaul University, directs an international energy center at the London Center of International Law Practice.
He previously advised the presidential campaign of Ben Carson and worked as a research fellow at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has had meetings with the president of Cyprus and the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates. He obtained a masters’s degree from the University of London in 2010.On his LinkedIn page, Papadopolous lists among his awards and honors that he was U.S. Representative at the 2012 Geneva International Model United Nations.
Almost all his work appears to have revolved around the role of Greece, Cyprus and an Israeli natural gas discovery in the eastern Mediterranean. Indeed Papadopoulos has not left much of a paper trail. He has written an oped piece in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and three articles for Arutz Sheva, an Israeli news site. His points in all of them boil down to this: Israel should use the natural gas it has found in the giant Leviathan field offshore in the eastern Mediterranean to build bridges to Greece and Cyprus – and avoid dealing with Turkey at all costs. Any extra gas could be sent to Egypt, which Papadopoulos said already has liquefied natural gas plants for importing gas.
He also urged Israel to settle antitrust issues regarding its oil and gas industry – by “providing the regulatory certainty” — so that relatively large companies can exploit the natural gas soon.
Papadopoulos, who bears the same name as the Greek colonel who led a 1967 coup, has also written the United States should station a fleet of warships in Crete and that Cyprus should join NATO.
Shipping the natural gas to Turkey by pipeline and from there to the rest of Europe might be relatively inexpensive, Papadopoulos has written, but he said, Israel should look elsewhere. The Turkish option, he wrote in March 2014, is “bereft of the political realities in the region and does not take into account the potentially devastating impact this option can have on Israel’s strategic relations with EU member Cyprus, and by extension, all of Europe.” He writes: “Regional economic cooperation between Israel and Cyprus should be the guiding principle that anchors Israel economically to Europe.”In October 2015, he wrote in Haaretz that “Israel’s energy exports can serve as the basis for enhancing strategic relations between Israel and Egypt. They could also serve as the foundation for political and security cooperation with Greece and Cyprus.”Elizabeth Rosenberg, an energy expert at the Center for a New American Security, said judging from the limited writing Papadopoulos has done that “his approach won’t square well with an American audience: he lacks a strong contemporary background on domestic energy issues.” She added that “he has argued for Israeli gas moving to Europe. If that eventually comes to pass it will compete with U.S. gas to Europe. The United States and Israel are allies, but whose team is he on?”
Papadopoulos also wrote in January 2014 that, “Israel and Greece’s robust military relations have redrawn the political map of the region. The U.S. would be wise to shift its policies, and resources, towards improving relations at all levels with its stalwart allies in the region, Israel, Greece, and Cyprus, to contain the newly emergent Russian fleet, and malignant jihadist forces operating around Israel’s borders.”
Earier, Papadopoulos wrote about terrorism for The Chicago Examiner and as an intern at the Jamestown Foundation. In 2011, he wrote: “As history has explained to its readers, the ancient Greek mythological hero Hercules fought the mythical hydra, which was said to have sprouted additional heads for every head that was cut off by Hercules, and only until the heart of the beast was struck did it fall. The United States and its other NATO allies appear to be in a similar quagmire in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, for the United States and NATO as a whole, the hydra was a myth, while the Afghanistan conflict is real and present and will require a similar Herculean task.”
A biography on Carson’s website says Papadopoulos “designed the first ever project in Washington, D.C. think-tank history on U.S., Greece, Cyprus and Israel relations at a symposium entitled ‘Power Shifts in the Eastern Mediterranean: The Emerging Strategic Relationship of Israel, Greece and Cyprus.’