(JNS.org) Government ministers from Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and the European Union (EU) signed a joint statement agreeing to advance the creation of the world’s longest gas pipeline.
The gas pipeline—agreed upon at this week’s EastMed Energy Summit in Tel Aviv—will cost upwards of $5.5 billion and span 1,200 miles, running undersea between Israel and Italy. The project is slated for completion by 2025.
The pipeline is likely to significantly increase Israel’s natural gas export potential and strengthen the Jewish state’s position as an emerging energy powerhouse in the Mediterranean.
“Our unanimous agreement to move forward with the Mediterranean gas pipeline project means that Israel has been accepted not just in the Middle East, but also by Europe as a significant player in the international energy economy,” Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said.
EU Commissioner for Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said, “We see Israel and the countries of the whole region as good partners, because in the future the region is going to become a very important gas market,” the Israeli business news outlet Globes reported.