Netanyahu discusses massive gas pipeline, Iran threat with Greece, Cyprus

The leaders of Israel, Greece and Cyprus discussed the laying of a the world’s longest gas pipeline as well as regional issues, most notably the Iranian threat. 

By: World Israel News Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday arrived in Cyprus to participate in a tripartite summit with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Before boarding the plane, Netanyahu said the focus of the meeting will be the feasibility of a regional gas pipeline from Israel and Cyprus, via Greece, to Europe.

“This will be of great economic significance for the State of Israel if it is built,” he stated.

Greece, Italy and Cyprus, with the backing of the European Union, joined Israel in advancing a project to build the world’s longest and deepest undersea gas pipeline.

The planned pipeline, which is estimated to cost more than $6 billion, is intended to transport gas to Europe through Greece and Italy from offshore gas fields belonging to Israel and Cyprus.

The new sources of energy would lower European reliance on Russia as an energy source.

The three leaders also discussed regional issues, particularly the increasing aggression of Iran in the region.

‘A palpable threat against all of us’

Iran “openly calls daily for our destruction, the elimination of Israel from the face of the earth, and it practices unmitigated aggression against us and against anyone else in the region. It has a terror network that is spread throughout the world. It is now seeking to implant very dangerous weapons in Syria to be used against Israel for the specific purpose of our destruction,” Netanyahu told the summit.

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“It is in the interest of everyone to prevent this Iranian aggression,” he declared. “If they reach the Mediterranean, they wish to establish military naval bases in the Mediterranean for Iranian ships and Iranian submarines. This is a palpable threat against all of us.

“I think that everybody recognizes the malign intentions of Iran, and I think everybody also recognizes Israel’s right of self-defense, which is really our common defense.”

Similar summits were held in June 2017 and in January 2016, and the leaders have also met on an individual basis.

The three countries are seeking to establish a regional alliance which would serve to counter Turkey’s influence as well as other countries’ impact on the area. Greece and Cyprus are historic adversaries of Turkey, with whom Israel’s relations have deteriorated during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s leadership.