The Israeli Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Israel Katz, and the Cypriot Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry, George Papanastasiou, met on 14-15 June for a round of discussions aimed at strengthening the energy cooperation between the two countries.
During the talks, the Ministers and professional teams discussed the electricity interconnection between Israel and Cyprus, meant to connect the electricity grids of the two countries, with the goal of making progress ahead of COP28.
Following the commitment expressed by the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Cypriot President, Nikos Christodoulides, during their meeting last month, the Ministers engaged in active discussion for cooperation in the development of regional natural gas infrastructure, including the Cyprus Gateway initiative, which aims to transfer natural gas through Cyprus to Europe, including from Israeli natural gas resources.
The Ministers committed to initiate technical discussion through two expert groups for electricity, natural gas and hydrogen interconnections with the aim to convene in July.
The Aphrodite-Ishai matter was also discussed, with the Ministers committing to continue negotiations with the goal of reaching an agreement by the end of the year.
Minister Katz: “The enduring alliance and shared vision between Israel and Cyprus resonate powerfully, and in the present era, the energy sector assumes a pivotal role as a bedrock for fortifying the bonds between our nations. It is within this context that my fervent vision of propelling the State of Israel into a vibrant energy bridge connecting the East and West finds its manifestation, steadfastly contributing to regional stability. Undoubtedly, Cyprus stands as an indispensable partner in the realization of this audacious vision, and I extend my gratitude to Minister Papanastasiou for graciously accepting my invitation. With great anticipation, I eagerly look forward to forging ahead, achieving significant milestones in our collaborative endeavors spanning the domains of natural gas and electricity.”
Minister Papanastasiou: ‘I would like to thank Minister Katz and his team for the warm welcome in Israel and for the fruitful deliberations we had during the past two days. Our discussions reaffirmed the strong commitment of our countries to further strengthening and deepening Cyprus and Israel’s partnership, which is based on common values and shared strategic interests including energy. We discussed about how the current energy crisis highlights the need for energy diversification, security of supply and increased interconnectivity, and we agreed to expedite our discussions in various levels, in a result-oriented manner in order to create a reliable energy corridor from the Eastern Mediterranean. In this framework, we focus on the electrical interconnection between Cyprus and Israel as well as how Cyprus can serve as a Gateway for Israeli gas to Europe.’