Israel examines pipeline to transport natural gas to Europe via Greece
Israel wants to examine a plan to build a pipeline to transport the country’s natural gas to Europe via Greece, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday, during a tri-party meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia.
Speaking to reporters, after the meeting, the Israeli PM said the plan was “bold”, while the Greek PM commenting on the very big importance of exploiting the natural gas reserves of Cyprus and Israel, noted “of course, Greece will be play the role of a bridge for these two countries, which will want to gain direct benefits from exploiting fields through their transport towards Europe via Greece.”
The three countries agreed to promote common projects in the energy sector and cooperation in other sectors. A joint declaration, adopted by the three leaders, envisages common projects in energy, sea transport, innovation, water technology, transport, tourism, security and commercial partnerships. In the framework of the tri-party meeting, government ministers signed an agreement on management of water resources and agreed to create a sub-water electricity cable linking electricity grids between the three countries. The three leaders also agreed to the set up a special commission to monitor progress of all agreements in order to have specific results in their next meeting, scheduled in the next six months.
The Greek Premier underlined that the tri-party meeting “was an important step forward for stability in the wider region” and explained that this step was not directed against third parties. On the contrary, he noted “it sets an example as it proved that we can work together, we can create even more networks linking us and undertake initiatives to exploit the comparative advantages of our region to the benefit of our peoples.”
“Today, we send a very important message that, by uniting our forces, we can promote prosperity, stability through development of common goals and through exploiting the advantages of our region,” Tsipras said. He added that the tri-party formation was “a strategic choice aimed to enhance our countries’ capabilities and to contribute to the benefit of our peoples and our region based on the interconnection of several sectors, such as energy, transport, know-how exchange and particularly in new technology, innovation and of course tourism”.
Tsipras expressed his belief that this strategic choice “can promote regional peace and stability and to highlight as an example the benefits of cooperation in the region based on the principle of good neighborhood”. “We plan the immediate implementation of actions and we agreed on the formation of a tri-party commission specialized on energy issues to promote our energy goals,” the Greek PM said, adding that discussions also focused on environment, protection and safety of sea environment.
“We face common challenges in the region related with the major issue of security, dealing with terrorism, stability and promoting peace in the region. We discussed on all big challenges, all the big risks,” Tsipras said, adding that the issue of immigration was also discussed. “We all agreed that we have to intensify efforts to resolve this problem at its root. And the root of the problem, are poverty, war interventions forcing millions of people to an unprecedented relocation, the biggest refugee movement after World War Two.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the meeting of historic importance. “We live in a turbulent and liquid environment and we have an unprecedented opportunity to promote our common goals,” he noted, adding “if we work together we will promote this goals more efficiently.”
He stressed that discussion was made on common projects in the energy sector such as building a natural gas pipeline linking hydrocarbon fields of Cyprus and Israel which will be transported to the rest of Europe through Greece and building a sub-water electricity cable linking the electricity grids of the three countries.
Anastasiades said the summit was fully successful and spoke of a “new era” in the relations between Nicosia, Athens and Tel Aviv, noting that this cooperation was not directed against any other country. This partnership is made to deal with common challenges, with the aim to promoting peace, stability and security in Eastern Mediterranean, he said, adding that the Nicosia Declaration was “the foundations of partnership between the three countries in the fields of energy, tourism, terrorism, immigration and water resources.”
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