Israel signed a preliminary agreement with Southern Cyprus, Greece and Italy for pipeline construction to carry Israeli gas to Europe, according to Israel's state radio on Monday.
After the meeting of Israel's Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources, Yuval Steinitz with representatives from the EU, Italy and Southern Cyprus on the Eastern Mediterranean Pipeline Project (EastMed), Steinitz was quoted as saying that the country will carry Israeli gas to not only some European countries but also to some Middle Eastern countries.
The Eastern Mediterranean (EastMed) Pipeline Project is a European project of common interest in which the ongoing development activities are supported by the European Union through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) co-financing program.
The project involves an offshore and onshore natural gas pipeline, directly connecting East Mediterranean resources to Greece via Southern Cyprus and Crete.
"The countries will play an important role from now on in the global energy arena," Steinitz was quoted as saying by the state radio.
The construction of the pipeline will take eight years and will cost about $5.5 billion, the radio broadcast also reported.
Steinitz, in a recent interview, said that Israel hopes to conclude a government-to-government memorandum of understanding between Turkey and Israel this summer on a proposed pipeline between the two countries.
The proposed pipeline would be significantly cheaper, have fewer infrastructural complications and could likely be completed within three years, he noted, adding that he has already held three rounds of gas agreement talks with his Turkish counterpart, Berat Albayrak, since his visit to Turkey last October.
On Oct. 13 last year, Steinitz visited Istanbul to attend the World Energy Congress 2016, marking the first visit by Israel after several years.
Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Albayrak and his Israeli counterpart agreed then to enter talks to discuss a project to allow the transmission of natural gas from Israeli economic waters through Turkey and onto Europe.
Turkish and Israeli companies are currently discussing a possible gas pipeline to be built between Israel and Turkey to transport natural gas supplies from the Leviathan gas field in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel to Europe.
By Ebru Sengul