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Israel, Cyprus and Greece mull energy pacts to tap gas

Israel, Cyprus and Greece mull energy pacts to tap regional gas
2 min read
04 September, 2023
Israel, Greece and Cyprus have all vowed to increase cooperation in extracting gas from the East Mediterranean
Netanyahu met with Cyprus' Christodoulides (centre) and Greece's Mitsotakis (right) [Getty]

The leaders of Israel, Greece and Cyprus pledged to deepen their energy cooperation on Monday and explore ways to get East Mediterranean gas to Europe, as well as connect electricity grids.

The eastern Mediterranean has yielded major gas discoveries in the past decade, mostly off Israel and Egypt, with interest rising since Russia's invasion of Ukraine hit flows to Europe.

"We will have to decide soon about how Israel exports its gas and the same decisions have to be made by Cyprus. We are looking at the possibility of cooperating on this," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters in Nicosia after a tripartite summit with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Cyprus' President Nikos Christodoulides.

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"Those decisions will be made, I think, in the next three to six months, probably closer to three months," he said.

Earlier this year Cyprus suggested expediting gas to market by the creation of a short pipeline linking Israel's east Mediterranean gas fields to a liquefaction facility on Cyprus, which could then be shipped to Europe.

"We agree that natural gas and renewable energy is a prime pillar of cooperation in the region, especially in light of the recent geopolitical developments," Christodoulides said. "Especially in Europe (it) dictates the need for energy diversification and increased interconnectivity," he said.

Netanyahu said Israel was also "eagerly pursuing" being part of a planned subsea electricity link, the EuroAsia Interconnector. The EU-supported subsea cable is envisaged to carry up to 2,000 megawatts of electricity to eventually link grids from Israel and Cyprus to Greece.

"We would like to have it connected obviously to Israel, and possibly to the east of Israel," Netanyahu said.