By exporting portions of its natural gas to the Palestinian Authority and
Jordan, Israel could help bridge relations on a broader level with its
neighbors, Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau said on
“Naturally, the immediate export of natural gas will be to our
neighbors the Palestinians and the Jordanians, and I believe that this
connection will be an important step in building trust and peace in the region,”
Landau said, according to his office.
The minister was speaking at The
Economist magazine’s “Investment Energy Summit – Greece, Cyprus, Israel:
Redesigning the European Energy Map” event, held in Athens on Wednesday and
Thursday, in cooperation with Greece’s Environment, Energy and Climate Change
Ministry; Cyprus’s Commerce, Industry and Tourism Ministry; the Greek-Israeli
Chamber of Commerce & Technology; and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and
Addressing participants during the conference’s opening
session, Landau joined the energy and environment ministers of both Greece and
Cyprus. The three ministers later took part in an open discussion about global
challenges and the specific problems that the countries in this region share,
the ministry said.
For Israel in particular, there will be specific
challenges as the economy strives to cope with an entirely new, and extensive,
addition to the market, according to Landau.
“The energy market is
expected to transfer to the most extensive use of natural gas, opening the use
of natural gas and its products, such as methanol for transportation,” he
But the regional natural gas developments will not just be
remarkable for Israel’s energy security status – it will also be crucial to that
of its neighbors, and the relationships among the countries.
with deep conviction that this important development in the Middle East will
lead to a better future for our countries, as well as for that of our
neighbors,” Landau said.
“We are confident that in the Middle East, which
at the moment is in chaos, this partnership between Greece, Israel and Cyprus
will create a basis of stability that is very important for the
Along these lines, Landau wished success to Cyprus and Greece in
their natural gas explorations, which are slated to begin next
month. “Your success is the success of the region,” he said.
testament to the increasingly high level of cooperation among these three
countries, Israel’s ambassador to Greece, Aryeh Mekel, told Landau that six
Israeli ministers have visited Greece in the past year to create various
partnerships, while 12 Greek ministers have visited Israel, the ministry
Later during the day, Landau signed a agreement with Greek
Environment, Energy and Climate Minister George Papaconstantinou for cooperation
between their two countries in the field of environmental protection.
agreement calls for exchanging knowledge and sharing expertise, with particular
emphasis on issues of water management, sewage treatment and reuse,
desalination, bio-gas and biomass production, energy efficiency and other
The ministerial meetings occurring in Athens indicate a
tightening of relations between the three countries, particularly on issues of
energy and environmental importance, many of which have arisen from their mutual
natural gas discoveries, according to the ministry. Earlier this month, Landau
and officials from the other two countries signed a memorandum of understanding
for the construction of an electric cable from Israel to Cyprus to Greece, which
will allow for redundancy, reciprocal backup, security and long-term domestic
energy for all the parties involved, the ministry said.