Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (C), Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) attend a press conference in Thessaloniki, Greece, on June 15, 2017. Greece, Cyprus and Israel have agreed to step up cooperation in particular in the energy sector to benefit the wider region, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Thursday. (Xinhua/Vasili Ververidi)
ATHENS, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Greece, Cyprus and Israel have agreed to step up cooperation in particular in the energy sector to benefit the wider region, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Thursday.
He made the statement after the third Greece-Cyprus-Israel trilateral summit in the northern Greece city of Thessaloniki.
During talks with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the three sides decided to "speed up joint action for the construction of a major eastern Mediterranean pipeline project", Tsipras said.
The East Med pipeline investment project of up to 6 billion euros (6.7 billion U.S. dollars) worth with a capacity of 10-16 billion cubic meters of gas annually is designed to transfer the rich energy reserves that have been discovered in the eastern Mediterranean region to Europe.
The project has become one of the most important pillars of their strategic trilateral cooperation and one with great potential given the geopolitical positions of the three countries, AMNA news agency noted.
On the agenda of discussions on Thursday was also the Euro Asia Interconnector, a 3-billion-euro cable connecting the electricity grids of Greece, Cyprus and Israel.
The Greek side reiterated its proposal to accept both the cable and fiber optic with an additional cost of 10 percent in order to safeguard benefits in the telecommunications sector, the Greek prime minister said.
In both cases the three sides did not elaborate on detailed timetables regarding the implementation of the projects.
"With Greece's strategy to become an energy hub and the possibility of new natural gas fields in the exclusive economic zones of Cyprus, Israel and Greece, the prospects of cooperation between the three countries became highly interesting, not only for the countries themselves, but also for the broader southeastern Mediterranean region," Tsipras stressed in a joint press conference with Anastasiades and Netanyahu.
Israeli PM Netanyahu focused on collaboration in technological innovation and student exchanges to support the culture of change and progress.
Anastasiades said he briefed the two leaders on the latest developments concerning the ongoing UN-mediated dialogue to resolve the Cyprus issue.