Tsipras-Netanyahu talks focus on EastMed pipeline


The “large geopolitical significance” of the EastMed pipeline, which will transfer natural gas from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe, was stressed by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Bulgarian seaside resort of Varna on Friday.

Tsipras, who met the Israeli premier on the sidelines of a Balkan summit of Greek, Bulgarian, Romanian and Serbian leaders, said the project is of “financial and geopolitical high value.”

At the same time, Tsipras and Netanyahu also discussed the upgrade of the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki into a Balkan hub of innovation with the participation of Israeli businesses which are already active there.

Tsipras also referred to the benefits to Southeastern Europe that will come from the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) natural gas pipeline, which will link Alexandroupoli to Bulgaria. In addition he spoke about other road and rail projects that will link countries in the Balkan region.

Within this framework, Tsipras and his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov signed a joint declaration to implement two major projects – the modernization of the train link between Alexandroupoli, Burgas and Varna and the construction of a high-speed highway connecting Alexandroupoli to the Bulgarian border region of Maritsa, where it will join the existing road leading to Bulgaria’s capital Sofia.

Meanwhile, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania are planning to team up to make a bid for jointly hosting the World Cup in 2030, the heads of the four states said.