Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 - 14 of Sivan, 5780

Israel’s PM Netanyahu in Athens for a summit meeting with leaders of Greece and Cyprus, will sign agreement for huge gas pipeline project

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The Israeli Prime Minister speaks of ‘’a revolution in Israel’s energy picture.’’ ‘’We will not only bring about the lowering of gas prices and later of electricity prices but this will also direct hundreds of billions into state coffers to benefit Israel’s citizens including the elderly and children, health and social services,’’ he said.

JERUSALEM—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Athens on Thursday for ‘’an important summit’’ with the president of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and the new Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with whom he will sign an agreement for a huge pipeline project designed to ship gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe.  

“We have established an alliance in the eastern Mediterranean, an alliance that is of great importance both for the energy future of the State of Israel and its becoming an energy power, and for regional stability,’’ said Netanyahu upon departing for Greece.

He spoke of ‘’a revolution in Israel’s energy picture.’’ ‘’We will not only bring about the lowering of gas prices and later of electricity prices but this will also direct hundreds of billions into state coffers to benefit Israel’s citizens including the elderly and children, health and social services,’’ he added.

The EastMed project is expected to make Cyprus, Greece and Israel key links in Europe’s energy supply chain and aims to stymie Turkey’s effort to extend its control to the eastern Mediterranean

The 2,000-kilometer (1,200-mile) pipeline will be able to transfer nine to 12 billion cubic meters a year from offshore gas reserves between Israel and Cyprus to Greece, and then on to Italy and other southeastern European countries.

The discovery of hydrocarbon reserves in the eastern Mediterranean has sparked a scramble for the energy riches and a dispute between Cyprus and Turkey, which has occupied the north of the Mediterranean island since 1974 in response to a coup sponsored by the Greek military junta.

Turkey already faces European Union sanctions over ships searching for oil and gas off Cyprus, whose internationally recognized government in Nicosia is not recognized by Ankara.

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