Greece, Israel and Cyprus Reach Deal on Gas Pipeline

L to R: Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Greek PM Alexis Tsipras at today’s meeting in Israel. Photo from Anastasiades’ Twitter page

The leaders of Greece, Cyprus and Israel have reached an agreement to develop the East Med natural gas pipeline, which will transport natural gas to the E.U. via Cyprus and Greece. The three leaders met on Thursday in the Israeli city of Beersheba.

The project’s development plan still must be endorsed by the European Commission before a final agreement is signed by the three countries. This is expected to occur in the the first quarter of 2019.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the respective leaders of Cyprus and Israel, Nicos Anastasiades and Benjamin Netanyahu, are scheduled to sign related memoranda later in today.

As part of the deal, the three countries will set up a permanent secretariat in Nicosia tasked with coordinating the trilateral cooperation plan.

The East Med project has received €35 million ($40.1 million) in funding from the European Commission as a Project of Common Interest, or PCI.

The pipeline is currently designed to initially carry 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas per year from the eastern Meditteranean to Greece, and will have a total length of 1,900 km (1180 miles). The East Med line will then connect to the Poseidon pipeline going west from Greece to Italy, which is has a length of approximately about 300 km (186 miles).