Netanyahu set for historic Greek Cyprus visit
Israeli President Shimon Peres also visited Greek Cyprus in Nov, 2011. AFP photoIsraeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is scheduled to make a one-day visit to Greek Cyprus today, the first time an Israeli Prime Minister has ever visited the island.
Energy and possible cooperation in developing natural gas deposits in each countrys’ exclusive economic zones in the eastern Mediterranean are expected to be among the main topics of discussion during Netanyahu’s visit, daily Jerusalem Post reported yesterday. One idea on the agenda is the possibility of building a gas pipeline to Greek Cyprus, from which gas could then be exported to elsewhere in Europe. Israeli energy firm Delek is interested in a partnership with Greek Cyprus to build a facility where gas from both countries could be processed and sent abroad, the daily reported.
This week Greek Cyprus opened its second licensing round for companies interested in searching for gas in its exclusive economic zone. Turkey has called on Greek Cyprus to delay natural gas explorations in the eastern Mediterranean until a solution is found on the island. Netanyahu’s visit comes less than a year after Greek Cypriot President Demetris Christofias visted Israel, in the first visit to Israel by a Greek Cypriot leader in 11 years. In November 2011, Israeli President Shimon Peres also went on an official visit to Greek Cyprus, speaking with Christofias about the importance of joint natural gas-related projects.