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Amid EU gas talks, Israel’s energy minister heads to Cairo

Energy Minister Karine Elharrar during a meeting of the Arrangements Committee at the Knesset on June 9, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Energy Minister Karine Elharrar during a meeting of the Arrangements Committee at the Knesset on June 9, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Energy Minister Karine Elharrar is heading for Cairo to take part in a meeting of members of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF).

Israel and the EU have been negotiating for a month to export gas via Egypt to Europe. Earlier today, Elharrar met with visiting European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen amid intensive talks for Israel to provide the EU with natural gas as it pivots away from Russian fuel.

Von der Leyen said today in Jerusalem that the EU is “exploring ways to step up our energy cooperation with Israel,” with work on an underwater power cable and a gas pipeline in the eastern Mediterranean.

With no pipeline linking Israel’s offshore fields to Europe, one option, for now, is piping natural gas to Egypt, where it could be liquified for export by ship to Europe. Elharrar has said that Israel can help meet EU demand if it can deliver gas from its offshore reserves estimated at nearly 1,000 billion cubic meters.

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