Cyprus, Israel, Greece boost cooperation on energy corridor

(File: Famagusta Gazette)

Cyprus, Greece and Israel this week agreed to intensify cooperation on an energy corridor from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe, leaders of the three countries said after meeting in Nicosia.

“In light of the growing need for energy diversification and interconnectivity due to geopolitical developments, we reaffirmed the common interest to advance prospects for a reliable energy corridor from the Eastern Mediterranean basin to Europe,” they said in a joint statement.

Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides, and the Prime Ministers of Israel and Greece, Benjamin Netanyahu and Kyriakos Mitsotakis, agreed that “the energy sector, and in particular, natural gas, electricity and renewable energy, is a solid foundation for cooperation in the region.”

Speaking at a joint press conference, Netanyahu said that Israel and Cyprus will make decisions on exporting natural gas to Europe within the next three to six months.

Netanyahu had said before the meeting on Sunday that a natural gas corridor to Europe must be based either on building the EastMed pipe to connect the eastern Mediterranean with Europe, or on sending natural gas from sea gas fields via pipe to Cyprus, and building a liquefaction plant on the eastern Mediterranean island.

Cyprus and Israel have discovered several offshore natural gas fields, and these are currently at the stage of development. Meanwhile, Greece has just started exploring in its exclusive economic zone.

“We have a great interest in seeing how the Israeli and Cypriot gas will be exported to the EU,” said Mitsotakis. ■

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