PM met with foreign ministers from Cyprus and Greece in fifth trilateral meeting; Talks center on pipeline and new firefighting force; Ministers meet with Egyptian counterparts on EuroAfrica interconnecter project.



Prime Minister Netanyahu held a trilateral meeting with the foreign ministers of Greece and Cyprus, their meeting centered on the Mediterranean gas pipeline, the environment, energy, security, emergency services and tourism.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides both held meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem, talks centered on the on the East-Med gas pipeline construction and gas imports to Europe. The leaders also held talks on creating a new multinational firefighting force, as well a further cooperation in energy and tourism.

Addressing the press, the prime minister stated on the trilateral meeting “Our prime focus right now is on energy, on developing the eastern Mediterranean pipeline. It’s a great project, could be one of the great underwater projects in the world. And obviously it’s something that we think is important.” He added “Equally, we think it’s important that all countries respect the territorial waters, internationally-recognized territorial waters, and this is something that is important for all of us.”

The last trilateral meeting was held in March of this year. Netanyahu, President Nicos Anastasiades and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met in Nicosia, their fourth trilateral meeting in less than three years. Their meeting centered on moving forward with the East-Med pipeline and EuroAsia Interconnector project, a 1,520 km undersea electric cable.

In April of 2017, Israel signed a joint declaration with Cyprus, Greece and Italy to move forward with construction of the undersea gas pipeline, known as “East-Med”. The pipeline is proposed to be over 2,200 kilometers long and bring gas from Israel’s gas fields to Cyprus, Greece and Italy. The pipeline is expected to be completed by 2025 and is estimated to cost $6-7 billion. The creation of the gas pipeline will not only benefit Israel’s economy and diplomatic and trade relations with European states, but has also placed Israel as a a significant player as the world’s largest natural gas exporter.

Following their meeting, Kotzias and Christodoulides then traveled to Egypt for a tripartite meeting centered increasing cooperation, as well as the EuroAfrica interconnecter project.


Photo: Debarti CGI/