President Nicos Anastasiades will on Thursday hold separate meetings with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Athens, where the three leaders will sign an intergovernmental agreement for the EastMed pipeline project.
Government spokesman Kyriakos Koushios told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that the Cyprus problem, the current state of affairs in the eastern Mediterranean and developments in light of the signing of the MoU between Turkey and Libya for the delimitation of their respective maritime zones will be on the agenda of Anastasiades’ meetings.
Anastasiades’ meeting with Mitsotakis will take place at the latter’s office on Thursday morning while he will hold talks with Netanyahu in the afternoon at the Zappeion Hall.
Prior to the signing of the intergovernmental agreement late on Thursday afternoon, the three leaders will hold a joint meeting to discuss issues concerning the trilateral cooperation among Cyprus, Greece and Israel.
Accompanying Anastasiades to Athens will be energy minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis, the government spokesman and state officials.
Meanwhile in comments to CNA on Tuesday, Israeli Ambassador to Cyprus Sammy Revel said the intergovernmental agreement on the EastMed marks significant progress in the overall cooperation among the three nations.
“It underlines our commitment to promoting the EastMed project,” Revel said. “The significant quantities of natural gas discovered in the exclusive economic zones of Israel and Cyprus, as well as the potential for more discoveries, create a major opportunity – an opportunity for cooperation on a bilateral and regional level.”
He added that the three countries “share the ambition to export natural gas to Europe.”
The EastMed is a proposed 1,900-kilometre natural gas pipeline project that will carry the region’s reserves to mainland Europe.
The pipeline will have a capacity to transport 10 billion cubic metres per year of gas to Greece and Italy and other south-east European countries.
Last month, Turkey and the Libyan government signed an accord to boost military cooperation and a separate deal on maritime boundaries, which has enraged Greece.
Ankara and Athens have also been at odds over hydrocarbon resources off the coast of Cyprus.
While Greece has said the accord violates international law, Turkey has rejected those accusations, saying it aims to protect its rights in the eastern Mediterranean.