image Photo: Haim Zach (GPO)

Israel Advances EastMed Pipeline to Europe

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz today attended a trilateral summit in Athens, to sign a mulitlateral agreement with Greece and Cyprus to advance the construction of the EastMed pipeline designed to transport natural gas from Israeli and Cypriot offshore reserves to Europe market via Greece.

While speaking to reporters prior to his departure from the Ben Gurion International Airport, Netanyahu stated that he was headed to “a very important summit” with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and new Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Netanyahu said, “Note that we have established an alliance in the Middle East, in the eastern Mediterranean,” he stressed “is of great importance for the energy future of the State of Israel – which is becoming an energy power.” Saying that the deal will have a positive impact on “regional stability,” he added that “the gas pipeline that we are now going to promote, which Minister Steinitz has been working on for many years, is instigating a revolution in Israel’s energy picture.”

Netanyahu then highlighted that the development would “not only bring about the lowering of gas prices – and later the cost of electricity, but that it will also direct hundreds of billions into state coffers – to benefit Israel’s citizens including the elderly and children, health and social services.”

“This is fantastic,” proclaimed the Israeli leader, stating that his administration is “providing impetus for gas and for all of the other great achievements that we have brought, and which we will continue to bring to the State of Israel in the coming years.”

The advancement of the “Energy Triangle” plans come amid an escalation of hostilities with Turkey, which inked a pact with Libya last month that divided the Eastern Mediterranean Sea between them, including the delineation of an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) where Israel’s pipeline is slated for construction.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu then acknowledged, “Moreover, we know that our region is stormy; very, very dramatic things are happening in it.” “We are alert and are monitoring the situation,” he said.