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Israel, Cyprus, Greece leaders enhance cooperation on gas infrastructure

The leaders of Israel, Greece and Cyprus met in Nicosia to discuss strengthening the trilateral strategic alliance between the countries and exploring options for exporting Israeli natural gas via Cyprus to Europe.
Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides (C) holds a trilateral summit with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the presidential palace in the Cypriot capital Nicosia, Sept. 4, 2023.

On a two-day visit to Cyprus Sunday and Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed with his Cypriot and Greek counterparts options for transporting Israel’s natural gas across the Mediterranean to Europe. Netanyahu was initially set to visit Cyprus in July, but had to postpone his trip for health purposes. 

Arriving to Nicosia Sunday afternoon, Netanyahu was welcomed by Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides. On Monday morning, Netanyahu met separately with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. A meeting of the three leaders took place right after the bilateral encounter, the latest in a series of trilateral summits between the three countries that begun in 2016. 

"As the veteran among the three and one of the founders of this trilateral partnership, I think that over the years — it’s not been that many years — it proved to be amazingly effective and productive. The flow of tourism, the firefighting that has saved lives in all our countries, battling terrorism and defense cooperation," said Netanyahu at the trilateral meeting. "I think the three-way entrepreneurship gives a lot of prosperity to our people. So we have a lot of things that we are doing. But I am very confident that our partnership — nations and personal — will kick this to much higher levels."

Addressing journalists before traveling to Cyprus, Netanyahu noted that the issue of energy will be at the focus of his meetings there, alongside economic relations, tourism, environmental protection, battling climate change and bush fires, and security cooperation/counterterrorism. Netanyahu argued that his government had persisted in its pursuit of extracting underwater gas, despite objections from its political opponents. 

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