The US, Israel, Cyprus and Greece, held a “3+1” virtual Foreign Ministerial meeting on Monday. The foreign ministers of the four countries met “to reaffirm their shared commitment to promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean,” they said in a joint statement.
“In a critical period for Europe, the United States, and the world, the ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the 3+1 format and decided to intensify their cooperation in the areas of energy, economy, climate action, emergency preparedness, and counterterrorism, contributing to resilience, energy security, and interconnectivity in the region... The 3+1 support additional initiatives such as the Negev Summit that promote cooperation in the region,” the statement said.
The ministers condemned the recent “horrific terror attacks against Israelis, including the May 5 terror attack in Elad.”
They decided to develop a road map “with tangible deliverables for the coming year, and to set the stage for a follow-on meeting before the end of 2022.”
However, while the statement mentioned the need to intensify cooperation on energy, it did not specifically mention the EastMed natural-gas pipeline.
The US no longer supports the proposed natural-gas pipeline from Israel to Europe, and the Biden administration has informed Israel, Greece and Cyprus about the decision to reverse the Trump-era position on the matter, it was reported earlier this year.
The EastMed pipeline was designed to transfer natural gas from Israeli waters to Europe via Greece and Cyprus. It was announced in 2016, and several agreements have been signed between the three countries on the subject. The three states aimed to complete the €6 billion project by 2025, but no financing has been secured for it.
Claims over natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean have been a point of contention with Turkey in recent years, with Ankara saying it should be part of the EastMed project.