JERUSALEM -- Environment & Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis and Israeli Minister of Energy Yuval Steinitz signed a Joint Declaration on Energy Cooperation on Tuesday in Jerusalem, in view of joint projects that will enhance the two countries' energy security.
The two ministers’ meeting, which was held on the sidelines of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' two-day official visit to Israel, also confirmed their mutual support for the realization of the EastMed pipeline project.
EastMed is a strategic choice of common interest not only for the two countries, they emphasized, but also for the European Union. Israel has begun the process of ratifying the Greek-Cypriot-Israeli intergovernmental agreement signed on January 2, following Greece's ratification on May 14.
The two ministers then discussed the electricity interconnection Project of Common Interest (PCI 3.10), which will link the national grids of Israel, Cyprus and Greece through Crete, with EuroAsia Interconnector Limited as the project promoter; the latter submitted a request on May 27 for project funding from the European Commission's Connecting Europe Facility.
The agenda also included the strengthening of the tripartite collaboration between Greece, Cyprus and Israel in the 3+1 initiative (which includes the US), using also the East Med Gas Forum, which could become a permanent energy organization in the eastern Mediterranean.
The joint declaration also includes the prospect of investments and exchange of know-how in Renewable Energy Sources (RES), electrokinesis, energy storage and efficiency solutions and alternative fuels.
Hatzidakis met with Israel's new Minister of Environment Gita Gamliel, with whom he discussed plans for green innovation and environmental protection. He also met with the Minister of Higher Education and Water, Ze'ev Elkin, with whom he discussed partnerships in tackling marine pollution and water desalination.
After the meetings, the Minister of Environment and Energy said:
"RES and new technologies such as hydrogen are opening up new fields of cooperation between our countries," said Hatzidakis after his meetings, and noted that "relations between the two countreis have never been better, especially so in energy matters."