South Cyprus President Anastasiades has invited Israel to seriously consider committing to exporting Israeli gas from an (as yet unconstructed) South Cyprus Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) terminal.
On his part Israeli Minister of Energy and Water Resources Silvan Shalom stressed that relations between the two countries are not only based on the economy but are also “geopolitical and strategic”.
The two men were addressing an official ceremony for the inauguration of the Limassol Desalination Plant.
“In view of the fact that my Government is moving forward with determination with the construction of an LNG plant, in order to realize the significant potential of becoming the Eastern Mediterranean’s energy hub, I invite the Government of Israel to seriously consider committing to exporting Israeli gas from the LNG facility”, President Anastasiades noted in his address.
This, he added, “is all the more pertinent if one takes into account that Cyprus is perhaps Israel’s most stable partner in the region”.
He highlighted the fact that “our proximity to the Suez Canal is an important factor favouring the creation of a regional energy hub in Cyprus for the transportation of natural gas from Eastern Mediterranean countries, not only to Europe, but also to the Far East”.
“All of the above constitute key components of Cyprus’ vision not only as regards our energy co-operation with Israel, but also as regards energy co-operation in Eastern Mediterranean”, he said.
The South Cyprus President further pointed out that a “web of natural gas transportation projects in the Eastern Mediterranean will serve as a means to potentially strengthen regional energy security and attract foreign investments, leading to job creation; this should serve as a boost to the economies of our region”.
He also spoke of the role energy could place in contributing to the peace and stability in the region to the benefit of all.
“Energy should not be a source of conflict, but a tool for conflict resolution and regional integration”, he said.