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Israel, Cyprus make strides toward EastMed undersea electricity cable

Cypriot Energy Minister George Papanastasiou's visit to Israel is another step in joint efforts to promote the Euro-Asia undersea electricity cable project.
Shlomi Amsalem/GPO

Israel’s Energy Minister Israel Katz met with his visiting Cypriot counterpart, George Papanastasiou, in Jerusalem Thursday for a round of discussions on strengthening energy cooperation, particularly an initiative to connect the electricity grids of the two countries via an undersea cable.

A statement issued by Katz's office noted that the two ministers are laying groundwork for agreements on the undersea electricity cable project ahead of the COP28 climate summit set for November this year in Dubai. In July, the ministers agreed to create working groups that will advance joint electric, natural gas and hydrogen projects and connections. The statement read that Katz and Papanastasiou also discussed the cross-border Aphrodite-Yishai natural gas reservoir in the hope of reaching an agreement for the exploitation of the marine reservoir by the end of the year.

Katz stressed Israel's longstanding alliance with Cyprus. "The energy sector serves, especially these days, as an important anchor for strengthening the ties between the countries and realizing my vision of turning the State of Israel into an energy bridge between East and West, thus strengthening regional stability," Katz said. He added that Cyprus is an integral part in realizing that vision. 

In March 2021, Israel, Greece and Cyprus signed a memorandum of understanding to build an undersea cable at the cost of $900 million. The European Union recognized the initiative as a Project of Common Interest, meaning it is willing to support it financially. The cable would link the power grids of the three countries, providing backup resources in times of emergency. 

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