Netanyahu meets Cypriot and Greek counterparts to talk regional cooperation

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a former political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Left to right: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at Nicosia’s Presidential Palace, Cyprus, September 4, 2023 (PMO)
Left to right: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at Nicosia’s Presidential Palace, Cyprus, September 4, 2023 (PMO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is meeting in Cyprus with his Cypriot and Greek counterparts, as part of a trilateral forum established in 2016.

The central issue between the three leaders is how Israel will transport natural gas to Europe, with the leading options being a resurrection of Eastern Mediterranean pipeline plans to connect Israel, Cyprus, and Greece, and a shorter pipeline to run from Israel to a liquefaction terminal in Cyprus, in order to ship it onwards from there.

Earlier on Monday, Netanyahu met separately with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at Nicosia’s Presidential Palace.

A statement from Netanyahu’s office says the prime minister “raised the possibility of expanding the Abraham Accords, which would enable energy and infrastructure connection between Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, Israel, Cyprus, Greece and [on to mainland] Europe.”

Netanyahu raised a similar idea, including fiber optic cable infrastructure, during his bilateral meeting yesterday with Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides.

In addition to the international power and infrastructure links, the Prime Minister’s Office says Netanyahu and the Greek prime minister discussed cooperation in the fields of security, energy, artificial intelligence, and food.

Netanyahu also thanked Mitsotakis for Greece’s help in thwarting an Iranian terror attack on Cypriot soil, and proposed expanding cooperation in fighting regional fires.

Outside the Presidential Palace, dozens of Israelis are gathered to protest against Israeli domestic policy, railing against the Netanyahu government’s efforts to make fundamental changes to Israel’s judicial architecture.

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