NEWS

Israel backing Greek-Egyptian cooperation

israel-backing-greek-egyptian-cooperation

Israel’s support for the energy cooperation between Greece and Egypt, both in terms of electricity interconnection and future gas exports from one country to the other, is being touted as the most substantial outcome of this week’s visit to Jerusalem by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. 

Well-informed sources cite the joint declaration of the leaders of Greece, Israel and Cyprus, which states that the three leaders “confirm the support of all projects of common interest” in the field of energy.

Kathimerini understands that this phrase mainly concerns the conversion of the Egypt-Greece route into the main gas export route of the wider Eastern Mediterranean region. 

Under the existing agreements between Cyprus (for the Aphrodite reserve), Israel (for the Leviathan and Tamar reserves) and Egypt (Zohr) there are sufficient quantities of exportable natural gas.

It remains to be seen if the gas will be transported via pipelines from Israel and Cyprus to the LNG liquefaction and gas processing stations (Damietta and Idku).

All of these plans also factor in the possibility that some quantities will be saved for the EastMed pipeline, whose construction is politically backed, despite the fact that, technically, it is considered a project that will not be easily undertaken due to multiple difficulties.

Undoubtedly, the mutual understanding of Greece and Israel on energy in the region is seen as a very important development, especially at a time when Ankara’s charm offensive to Jerusalem is in full swing.

However, in another symbolic sign of ever deepening ties between the two countries, Israel’s President Isaac Herzog accepted, Kathimerini understands, an invitation extended by Mitsotakis to visit Athens. The visit is reportedly scheduled to take place in early 2022.