Greece, Israel, Cyprus to sign deal on gas pipeline on 2 January

The Mediterranean pipeline project is expected to be completed in 2025 now

Photo: Reuters Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis

Greece, Cyprus and Israel will press ahead with the development of a pipeline channeling natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ office said on Sunday. Mitsotakis, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Nicos Anastasiades, the president of Cyprus, are now expected to sign an agreement on the so-called EastMed pipeline in Athens on 2 January.

The deal will be then finalised with Italy’s signature at a subsequent date, Mitsotakis’ office said, without providing further details

Europe is keen to diversify its energy supplies, and Greece wants to promote itself as a hub for the transit of gas from the eastern Mediterranean to the continent. The European governments and Israel hence agreed in April to move forward with a Mediterranean pipeline project to carry natural gas from Israel to Europe. setting a target date of 2025 for completion. As planned, the pipeline will run across the Mediterranean, from Israel’s Levantine Basin offshore gas reserves, to the Greek island of Crete and the Greek mainland, and to Italy.

In the meantime, news comes mere weeks  after Turkey and Libya signed an agreement on sea boundaries in the Mediterranean that could complicate Ankara’s disputes with countries in the area.

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