Israel, Greece and Cyprus to explore gas pipeline to Europe

Netanyahu says trilateral meeting is a “microcosm” of a much wider phenomenon.


The leaders of Cyprus, Greece and Israel pledged on Thursday to strengthen the cooperation between the three countries in order to promote a trilateral partnership in emerging from newly found offshore gas reserves in order to bolster stability and security in a region wracked by conflict.

The talks in the Cypriot capital are the first tripartite summit between Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Our states share the same values as well as the conviction that in order to effectively counter multiple challenges confronting us on a local, regional and international level, we must work collectively, ” Anastasiades said in an announcment by mail.

“Our partnership is not exclusive in design or nature, ” he added, ” and we are ready to welcome other like-minded actors to join our efforts to promote coordination and cooperation, as well as regional peace and stability.”

Greece, Cyprus, and Israel decided to establish committee to consider different ways of exporting Israeli and Cypriot gas to Europe. One way under consideration is construction of a direct pipeline from the gas fields in Israeli and Cypriot waters to Greece, from where gas can be exported to the European Union

“We invite neighbouring countries to explore possible synergies which can be implemented by working collectively on a regional basis, ” the announcment said.

Netanyahu said the committee would also assess the possibility of an undersea cable to link their countries’ electricity grids.

Tsipras said Greece can act as a bridge for the transfer of east Mediterranean gas to the EU.

“These are momentous goals and by working together we can advance them more effectively than we can separately, ” Netanyahu said.

Discussions centred also on migration, combatting terrorism and boosting tourism. The countries also signed a co-operation agreement on managing water resources.

Tsipras said the leaders agreed that dealing with the largest migration of people since World War II means tackling the problem “at its root” — poverty and war.

Anastasiades said that additional financial support and economic development in war-torn areas would help alleviate the migration crisis.

The three leaders have agreed that the next trilateral Summit will be held in Israel in the second half of 2016.

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