Cyprus’ and Israel’s Energy Ministers George Papanastasiou and Eli Kohen agreed on Wednesday to continue promoting joint energy projects, with the Great Sea Interconnector touted as a top priority this year.

The two ministers met on Wednesday in Tel Aviv in the framework of Papanastasiou’s visit to Israel together with high-ranking officials from the ministry.

“Cyprus is a regional ally, and cooperation in the field of energy holds great potential opportunities for both countries” Cohen said.

“Connecting the electricity cable from Israel to Europe through Cyprus strengthens Israel’s position in the region, has a valuable contribution to Israel’s energy independence, and addresses the European need to diversify energy sources in the midst of the energy crisis”.

Israel’s energy minister also underlined that the submarine power cable will allow Israel to receive backup from the European power grid in times of emergency.


Papanastasiou (right) in Tel Aviv with Cohen

According to a joint press release issued after the meeting, the ministers discussed the issue of cooperation in the field of energy, which holds great potential for both countries.

They also agreed to strengthen the regional alliance between the two countries and to continue promoting joint energy projects, including the construction of the submarine electric cable that will connect Israel to Cyprus and from there to Europe (Great Sea Interconnector) and which will be promoted as a top priority this year.

Papanastasiou and Cohen discussed various initiatives for the development of natural gas transmission infrastructure in the Eastern Mediterranean, including the Cyprus Gateway initiative to transfer Israeli and regional natural gas through Cyprus to Europe.

Both ministers underlined the need to swiftly move forward in finding a solution over the cross-border natural gas reservoir of Aphrodite – Ishai.

Prior to the meeting, the ministers toured the Reading Power Station in Tel Aviv, accompanied by the Director General of the Ministry of Energy, Yossi Dayan, and professionals from the two ministries and Israel’s Electricity Authority, so as to examine the possibility of establishing the underwater electricity connection at the site.

“Cyprus and Israel share a vision for the Eastern Mediterranean with the countries looking at energy as a sector that can facilitate peace, stability and prosperity in the region” Papanastasiou underlined.

“Our productive discussions centred on finding tangible ways to ensure close coordination for the promotion and timely completion of the Great Sea Interconnector, which connects the electricity grids of Israel, Cyprus and Greece.”

Cyprus’ energy minister also stressed that they reaffirmed their determination to reach an agreement soon for the Aphrodite – Ishai issue, as well as to cooperate in developing the natural gas resources in the two countries’ EEZs, taking advantage of synergies in infrastructure.

“In this context Cyprus could serve as a natural gas gateway to European markets, part of the reliable East Med energy corridor we are jointly working to create with an eye to diversifying sources and routes,” he stressed.