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Netanyahu, Steinitz in Athens to sign gas deal with Greece and Cyprus

Under the prospective agreement, Israel and Cyprus will export gas through Greece and Italy to rest of Europe • Netanyahu: “We have established an alliance in the Middle East of tremendous importance.”

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the fifth Israel-Greece-Cyprus Summit in Beersheva on Dec. 20, 2018. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the fifth Israel-Greece-Cyprus Summit in Beersheva on Dec. 20, 2018. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz traveled to Athens, Greece, on Thursday, where they are to sign a three-way gas agreement with Cyprus and Greece that sets the stage for the exportation of natural gas to Europe.

Under the prospective agreement, Israel and Cyprus will jointly export gas from their offshore wells through Greece and Italy to the rest of Europe. Though Italy will not attend the summit, it is expected to sign the agreement in the near future.

Before leaving for Athens, Netanyahu announced, “We are headed to a very important summit with the president of Cyprus and the newly elected Greek prime minister.”

The prime minister added that “we have established an alliance in the Middle East of tremendous importance for the future of Israel’s energy and turning it into an energy superpower.”

The Athens summit occurs in the context of recent strategic talks between Israel, Cyprus and Greece, and the launch of Israel’s offshore Leviathan gas field on Tuesday, the largest energy project in Israel’s history.

It is expected to yield 22 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, paving the way for multibillion-dollar gas-export deals with Egypt and Jordan.

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