Israel, Cyprus & Greece announce creation of trilateral committee

A monumental meeting was held between Prime Minister Netanyahu, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Cyprus President Nikos Anastasiades on Thursday with historic cooperative agreements made in the fields of energy, tourism, technology and research.

The leaders announced the formation of a trilateral committee that will serve as a means “to strengthen the cooperation between our three countries in order to promote a trilateral partnership in different fields of common interest and to work together towards promoting peace, stability, security and prosperity in the Mediterranean and the wider region,” mainly that of the construction of a pipeline for gas exports from Israel’s gas reserves to Cyprus and Greece, a cooperative and collaborative boost in relations with Greece and Cyprus and advances in all three countries economies.

Prime Minister Netanyahu summarized the commitments and goals made from the trilateral meeting in a joint press conference following the meeting. He summarized them as “The first one is gas. We’ve been blessed, as you said, with natural gas in the sea. We decided to explore this in a very audacious way: to form a trilateral committee between Greece, Cyprus and Israel, to plan the possibility of a pipeline that would take our common resources of gas and export them to Europe via Greece – a pipeline from Israel, Cyprus through Greece to Europe.

This is an audacious plan which goes alongside with our other plans vis-à-vis the exploitation of this energy resource. The second thing that we are embarking on is creating an interconnected underwater cable to connect the electricity grids of Israel, Cyprus and later on Greece, to have a common electric grid. This for us is a great change. For you too, and I think it strengthens very much Greece’s energy market as well, energy situation as well. These are two practical things that we are moving. By the way, they are connected because you can also export gas through electricity that empowers the electrical system.”

He ended his speech by stating “We can do a lot more with our current capabilities and our future capabilities – firefighting, search and rescue and the like. And the endemic problem of security and fighting terrorism. These are all areas – among others – that we are cooperating in. I think we can pledge that our trilateral cooperation will help bring the blessings of progress not only to the citizens of our three democracies, but also perhaps to the wider region by again helping stability, security, prosperity and God help us also, bring peace to you and to us.”

Click here to read a joint statement from all three leaders following their meeting.

The three leaders have agreed that the next trilateral Summit will be held in Israel in the second half of 2016.

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, January 29, 2016.