Greece, Israel, Cyprus and the US agreed to boost cooperation in energy, as well as cyber and infrastructure security, Greek Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said, following a meeting among the ministers of the four countries in Athens, Wednesday.
Natural gas discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean have risen as a major opportunity for alternative energy resources in Europe in the last years, but also a great area of dispute between neighbors jostling for rights over resources.
Regional tripartite meetings between Israel and Cyprus, which have made discoveries, and Greece, keen to be a hub, have recently been extended to include the US, according to Reuters.
Cypriot Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said he had received assurances from his Israeli, Greek and US counterparts of full support over his country’s right to search for natural resources.
This remarks comes amid a geopolitical tension in Eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey disputes Cyprus’ right to explore for natural gas and has already sent two drilling ships, Fatih and Yavuz, to operate in waters off the divided island, a move that Cyprus says is a violation of international law and which prompts accusations from Greece that it is undermining security in the region.
This week the Turkish Minister of Energy informed that another ship is expected to join them this month off Cyprus.