Israel, Cyprus to Expand Cooperation on Energy Issues

Both countries made major offshore natural gas discoveries in last decade; Cyprus president says options include east Mediterranean pipeline, link to Europe's electricity grids.

Reuters
Reuters
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades shake hands after a press conference at the presidential palace in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, July 28,
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades shake hands after a press conference at the presidential palace in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, July 28, Credit: AP
Reuters
Reuters

Israel and Cyprus agreed on Tuesday to expand their cooperation on energy issues, including the use of pipelines and electricity grids to link to European markets, as both countries develop natural gas fields off their coasts.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said they would seek to tap the potential of natural gas in the sea bed beneath both countries.

"There is palpably renewed energy in our relationship, I mean that figuratively and literally," Netanyahu said. "... We think that by cooperating with each other we can take it out more easily, we can market it better, to the betterment of both our societies."

Israel has reported some of the largest natural gas discoveries worldwide in the past decade. Cyprus found gas offshore in 2011.

Netanahyu said the two countries were exploring various options on collaboration, but did not elaborate. Anastasiades said among the options were an east Mediterranean pipeline and the Eurasia interconnector, a private project to transport to Europe electricity powered by natural gas.

"With the Prime Minister, we agree exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbon assets is a sovereign right that is instrumental in the wider regional context and as part of a reciprocally beneficial relationship," Anastasiades said.

Netanyahu said the two countries would also explore tightening security cooperation. Last month, a Lebanese man was jailed in Cyprus on charges of hauling ammonium nitrate on the island, which both countries blamed on a plot by the Islamist group Hezbollah.

"We want to achieve peace, peace depends on security and ultimately if you don't have the capacity to defend that peace it collapses very rapidly in our area," Netanyahu said.

Although Cyprus is considered sympathetic towards Palestinians, its relations with Israel have grown in recent years. Anastasiades and Netanyahu enjoy particular rapport, with Anastasiades referring to the Israeli Prime Minister as his "dear friend Bibi" at least once.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

United Arab List chairman Mansour Abbas in the Knesset on Monday.

Arab Voters Will Decide if Israel's Far-right Wins Power

A young Zeschke during down time, while serving with the Wehrmacht in Scandinavia.

How a Spanish Beach Town Became a Haven for Nazis

Ayelet Shaked.

What's Ayelet Shaked's Next Move?

נתניהו עם כיפה שחורה על הראש נשען בשתי ידיו על הכותל

Israel Is Heading for Its Most 'Jewish' Election Ever

An El Al jet sits on the tarmac at John C. Munro International Airport in Hamilton, Thursday, in 2003.

El Al to Stop Flying to Toronto, Warsaw and Brussels

FILE PHOTO: A Star of David hangs from a fence outside the dormant landmark Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood in 2021.

American Judaism Is in Decline. That's Great News for American Jews