Cyprus, Greece and Israel have agreed to deepen their regional energy cooperation to export to Europe, especially natural gas supply and renewables, during a leaders meeting in Nicosia on Monday.
“We agreed that the energy sector, particularly natural gas, electricity and renewable energy, is a solid foundation for regional cooperation,” said Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides.
“Especially in light of recent geopolitical developments and energy insecurity, especially in Europe, dictating the need for energy diversification and increased interconnectivity,” he added.
He commented after the 9th trilateral summit in Nicosia with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
The trio have based their eight-year blossoming regional partnership on energy wealth in the Eastern Mediterranean and security of supply for Europe.
Unlike Israel, Cyprus has untapped energy riches, but both countries seek ways to join forces to export natural gas to Europe.
In a joint statement, the leaders said they wanted to promote “energy synergies” such as an electricity interconnector between the three countries and a possible natural gas pipeline.
“We reaffirmed the common interest to advance prospects for a reliable energy corridor from the Eastern Mediterranean basin to Europe,” the statement said.
Netanyahu said Israel and Cyprus were working on exporting the country’s gas reserves to Europe via the east Mediterranean island.
Nicosia is considering building a pipeline to transfer offshore natural gas from Israel and Cyprus to the east Mediterranean island, where it would be fuel for electricity generators or liquefied for export by ship.
He said decisions must be made in the next three to six months.
“We are looking at the possibility of cooperating on this, and those decisions will be made, I think, in the next three to six months, probably closer to three months,” Netanyahu said.
Cyprus, Greece and Israel are also involved in building the world’s longest and deepest 2,000-megawatt subsea electricity cable called the EuroAsia Interconnector, linking the three countries’ grids with mainland Europe.
Mitsotakis said the energy issue is of “common interest” with investments underway.
“So, we have a great interest in seeing how the Israeli and Cypriot gas will be exported to the EU and to respect solutions that have the blessing of the two governments, but they will also be tested by the markets,” Mitsotakis said.
The three leaders also announced they are keen to broaden the format by including India.
The next Trilateral Summit will be held sometime next year.