The ministers of Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and the European Union, attending the EastMed Energy Summit in Tel Aviv signed a joint statement committing to advancing the project for the laying a 2,000 km natural gas pipeline, the longest in the world.
The summit was attended by Italian Minister of Economic Development, Carlo Calenda, Greek Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis, Cypriot Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis and EU Commissioner for Climate and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete.
The eastern Mediterranean countries had agreed to advance talks on the Israel-Europe natural gas pipeline following positive results from an EU-sponsored feasible study. The pipeline, will cost about 5 billion euros ($5.5 billion/NIS 20 billion), considerably less than originally estimated, and is expected to be built by 2025.
For Israel, the pipeline will considerable expand its natural gas export potential. The current deal does not exclude the possibility of a future one with Turkey, which is still a viable option.
Israel Energy Minister Dr. Yuval Steinitz noted, "The Mediterranean gas pipeline project positions Israel… as a significant player in the international energy market. This has both economic and political implications."