EastMed partnership act in final US appropriations package


US Senator Bob Menendez on Monday applauded a bipartisan deal on federal government spending that is comprised of 12 appropriations bills, including legislation shaping American strategy in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Authored by Menendez, a Democrat, and Marco Rubio, a Republican, the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act of 2019 deepens US security and energy cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean, especially with Israel, Cyprus and Greece. The bill authorizes security assistance for Cyprus and Greece and a lifting of an arms embargo on Cyprus. It also authorizes the establishment of a United States-Eastern Mediterranean Energy Center to facilitate cooperation among the US, Israel, Greece, and Cyprus.

“By including this legislation in the government funding package, the United States Congress is recognizing our significant national security interests in the Eastern Mediterranean,” said Menendez, a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“Bolstered by strong and expanding relationships with Greece, Israel, and Cyprus, this commonsense legislation will drastically strengthen our bonds of friendship through joint efforts to promote peace, prosperity, and security for our nations,” he added in a statement.