Netanyahu Forced to Cut Short His Athens Visit in Light of Soliemani Assassination

Published January 2nd, 2020 - 12:23 GMT
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  (Twitter)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Twitter)
Israel, Greece, and Cyprus all oppose that deal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has traveled to Athens to ink a deal with Greece and Cyprus on the construction of a pipeline channeling natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe.

Netanyahu is expected to join Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Athens on Thursday to sign the agreement on the 1,900-kilometer EastMed pipeline.

Before taking off, Netanyahu said he was headed for “a very important” meeting with the Greek and Cyprus leaders.

“We’ve formed a Mediterranean alliance with massive importance for Israel’s energy future… and for regional stability,” he said.

The pipeline project, which is planned to be completed in 2025, will transfer between nine and 12 billion cubic meters a year from offshore gas reserves between Israel and Cyprus to Greece, and then on to Italy and other southeastern European states.

The trilateral accord comes amid tensions over a maritime deal between Turkey and Libya, which marks the boundary between the two countries in the energy-rich eastern Mediterranean close to the Greek island of Crete.

Israel, Greece, and Cyprus all oppose that deal.

During a visit to Cyprus last month, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias was asked if the EastMed deal signing was an answer to the Turkey-Libya accord. He denied that.

Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, however, underlined the need to “counter” Turkey.

“We have common goals and approaches and I believe that the proper framework is being created to counter the actions of some who wish to create conditions of instability in the eastern Mediterranean by violating international law,” he said.

Jordan gets first natural gas supplies from Israel

In another development on Wednesday, Jordan received first natural gas supplies from Israel.

Jordan’s National Electricity Company (NEPCO) said in a statement that the Texas-based Noble Energy had begun pumping gas from the off-shore Israeli Leviathan field to Jordan.

“The experimental pumping will continue for three-months under the technical and contractual terms between the two sides,” read the statement.

This article has been adapted from its original source.    

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