Greek Cyprus, Greece and Israel sign energy accord
NICOSIA - Agence France-Presse
Greek Cypriot Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Giorgos Lakkotrypis, center, Israeli Minister of Energy and Water Resources Silvan Shalom, right, and Greek Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change Yiannis Maniatis shake hands after signing a memorandum of understanding covering issues of energy and water resources in Nicosia, Cyprus, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. AP PhotoGreek Cyprus, Greece and Israel signed a deal on Thursday to cooperate over energy and aiming at securing Europe's energy supply.
A memorandum of understanding was signed by Greek Cypriot Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis, his Greek counterpart Yannis Maniatis and Israel's Silvan Shalom.
A statement said the three countries welcomed joint projects in the energy sector to "enhance the security of energy supply, sustainable development and cooperation among countries in the region." It said they also supported the privately initiated EuroAsia Interconnector project, which aims to link the three countries with an electricity cable.
"This project... could potentially allow for the export of electricity generated in the eastern Mediterranean to the EU energy market through the trans-European electricity networks," the communique said.
Maniatis said the MoU was a "significant moment" for relations between the three neighbours.
"Without doubt, developments in the energy sector and especially the exploitation of hydrocarbons, as well as a... high-voltage submarine cable linking Asia and Europe is an important factor for stability in the eastern Mediterranean." Natural gas has been discovered offshore Israel and Cyprus, and studies are underway on building a liquefied natural gas plant in Greek Cyprus.