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Greece, Cyprus, Israel reavow support for EastMed gas pipeline

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Staff Writer | March 21, 2019
The leaders of Greece, Cyprus and Israel reaffirmed their support for the planned 1,900 km EastMed gas pipeline to bring gas from the East Mediterranean via Cyprus and Crete to Greece by 2025, but stopped short of announcing a formal intergovernmental agreement.
EastMed gas pipeline
Europe   The leaders of Greece, Cyprus and Israel reaffirmed their support
The EastMed pipeline - under development by a 50:50 joint venture between Italy's Edison and Greece's DEPA - would link into other planned pipeline projects in Europe so that Cypriot and Israeli gas could be piped onward to Italy and southeast European markets. An intergovernmental agreement on the project - estimated to cost around $8 billion - could still be announced in the coming days, according to reports.

"We are planning to lay the EastMed pipeline from Israel, through Cyprus, through Greece, to Europe, something that will benefit our economies greatly and provide stability for the region," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said late Wednesday.

Netanyahu was speaking ahead of a trilateral meeting with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, a summit also attended by US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, underlining the US's commitment to helping Europe wean itself off its dependence on Russian gas imports.

"We think [the pipeline] would diversify energy supplies to Europe," Netanyahu said.

Tsipras said the establishment of the EastMed pipeline could "help both security dialog and economic development of the region," while Pompeo said the development of a gas corridor to Europe was "incredibly timely."

In a joint declaration late Wednesday following the summit, the four countries said only that they had agreed to "increase regional co-operation, support energy independence and security, and defend against external influences in the Eastern Mediterranean."