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Israel, Greece and Cyprus to continue Europe gas pipeline plans Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Israel, Greece and Cyprus to continue Europe gas pipeline plans

Israel has found vast gas deposits off its coastline [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 May, 2018

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A controversial gas pipeline to Europe from Israel and via Greece, Cyprus, will go ahead as planned, leaders from the three countries have said.

A gas pipeline linking Israel to Europe will continue as planned, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday, despite tensions over the ownership of gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The planned pipeline will pass through Cyprus and western Greece to mainland Europe, helping Israel find buyers for rich deposits of gas discovered off its Mediterranean coastline.

It will also help Europe diversify its suppliers, with the continent at the mercy at Russia for its gas.

The eastern Mediterranean gas pipeline will be a "very serious endeavor" for Israel and Europe, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday in Cyprus, according to AP.

He was joined by Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras who are working on the possible tripartite gas pipeline.

Neyanyahu said that the deal could be finalised by the end of the year.

Greece's Tsipras called the project "emblematic" of the cooperation between the three countries.

One snag is a disagreement between Cyprus and Israel over a section of a gas field.

Cyprus' Aphrodite gas field is much smaller than Israel's Tamar and Leviathan, but a small section runs over into Tel Aviv's maritime boundaries.

Despite the good relations between the two countries, Israel has refused to give up on the issue as an act of friendship with Cyprus and has threatened legal action.

Israel is also involved in a major dispute with Lebanon over Beirut's claims to a gas field in the eastern Mediterranean.

Relations are better between Tel Aviv and Cairo, with Israel due to sell billions of dollars of gas to Egypt.

Agencies contributed to this story.

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