image Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R), Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (C) and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades shake hands during a trilateral heads of state meeting between Cyprus, Greece and Israel in Thessaloniki, Greece, June 15, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis - RTS1772U

Israel-Greece-Cyprus agreement to expedite gas pipeline

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades signed a joint cooperation agreement aimed at bolstering the trilateral alliance. The three leaders announced that they would, among other joint initiatives, speed up plans for the development of a pipeline channeling gas to Europe from the newly discovered east Mediterranean reserve.
“We agreed to expedite our joint actions concerning our agreement on the construction of a large project, a project which will offer new prospects of economic cooperation and development in the eastern Mediterranean – the East Med pipeline, the pipeline which will connect Israel and Cyprus with Greece and with the rest of Europe,” said Alexis Tsipras, Greek Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who seeks to export Israel’s large natural offshore gas findings to Europe, declared the establishment of the pipeline as a revolutionary project.
“The idea of the East Med pipeline, which will be a revolution. We have had preliminary studies of it, it seems promising and we are going to look further into it, but it would connect our three countries, and it’s something we are very excited about,” said Netanyahu.
European governments and Israel agreed in April to move forward with a Mediterranean pipeline project to carry natural gas from Israel to Europe, setting a target date of 2025 for completion. Europe is keen to diversify its energy supplies, and Greece wants to promote itself as a hub for the transit of gas from the eastern Mediterranean to the continent.