Greek, Cypriot, Israeli Leaders Agree Gas Pipeline



Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (R), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.

A joint pipeline that could feed 20 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Europe is a project discussed between the leaders of Greece, Cyprus and Israel in a trilateral meeting in Nicosia.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades met for the fourth time on Tuesday in an effort to promote the cooperation in economic and geopolitical issues, according to The Times of Israel.

The envisioned pipeline that will supply east Mediterranean gas to Europe — the EastMed Pipeline Project — would start about 170 kilometers (105 miles) off Cyprus’ southern coast and stretch for 2,200 kilometers (1,350 miles) to reach Otranto, Italy, via Crete and the Greek mainland.

The pipeline, that will take six to seven years to complete, will have the capacity to carry up to 20 billion cubic meters of gas yearly. Europe’s gas import needs are projected to increase by 100 billion cubic meters annually by 2030, The Times of Israel reports.

Greece’s prime minister called the project “emblematic” of the cooperation between the three countries and said that with the cooperation between the three countries, the Mediterranean would become “a sea of peace”. The agreement for the EastMed Pipeline Project will be signed within 2018, he said.

The Israeli prime minister called the East Med pipeline a “very serious endeavor” that is important for Europe, which is looking for new sources of energy.

Netanyahu hailed the growing ties between Israel, Cyprus, and Greece as building “an alliance for good”. “We are building a great alliance, an alliance for good among our three democracies,” he added.

The three leaders also reaffirmed their backing for planned undersea electricity and fiber optic cables that will link Israel, Cyprus and Greece.