World Bulletin / News Desk
Alexis Tsipras was in Thessaloniki, northern Greece for meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Southern Cyprus's leader, Nicos Anastasiades.
Tsipras said the three leaders had discussed trilateral cooperation on energy, more specifically focusing on natural gas, among other issues.
Netanyahu initially met separately with Tsipras and Anastasiades; later the three leaders held a trilateral meeting and signed a joint declaration.
“We agreed to fast track our common actions towards the new (gas) pipeline which will connect Israel and Cyprus with Greece and the rest of Europe,” Tsipras said during a televised news conference.
Israel and Cyprus have significant natural gas deposits and Greece wants to be energy hub, Tsipras told reporters, stressing the geopolitical position of the countries played a major role in the plan.
The construction of the EastMed pipeline is being fully supported by the European Union, Anastasiades said.
Netanyahu said the three leaders had also discussed the possibility of an underwater electricity cable link between Israel and Greece.
According to the Israeli government, Thursday’s joint declaration focused on foreign affairs, infrastructure and environmental protection.
The trilateral deal also covered research and innovation, telecommunication technologies, industry and small- and medium-sized enterprises plus diaspora communities.
Netanyahu was accompanied by Science Minister Ofir Akunis, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, Economy Minister Eli Cohen and Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin.
Earlier on Thursday, the three leaders attended the unveiling of a plaque to mark the construction of a Holocaust museum in Thessaloniki.
The next meeting between the three states will take place in Southern Cyprus towards the end of 2017.