May 12, 2022

Cyprus launches regional firefighting center to Israel and Greece

The Cypriot foreign minister has proposed to his Greek and Israeli counterparts the creation of an Eastern Mediterranean firefighting center aimed at quickly responding to huge fires that could overwhelm any country

NICOSIA, Cyprus – The Cypriot foreign minister on Monday presented to his Greek and Israeli counterparts the creation of an Eastern Mediterranean firefighting center aimed at quickly tackling the huge forest fires that could overwhelm anyone. which country.

Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides made the proposal during a virtual meeting of senior diplomats from the three countries as well as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, aimed at closer cooperation in the fields of energy, economy, climate action, emergency preparedness and counter-terrorism.

Kasoulides also said his island nation was willing to host a meeting of ministers to discuss ways to protect the Eastern Mediterranean Sea through the development of environmentally friendly ports and other coastal infrastructure.

Blinken joined Kasoulides, and their Greek and Israeli counterparts, Nikos Dendias and Yair Lapid, in demonstrating Washington’s support for the tripartite cooperation pact that Cyprus, Greece and Israel have been developing in recent years.

In a joint statement, the ministers said they had decided to intensify cooperation on issues “contributing to resilience, energy security and interconnectivity in the region”.

They agreed to meet again before the end of 2022.

Cyprus, Greece and Israel have worked over the past six years to strengthen ties based on new gas fields in Cypriot and Israeli waters, and want to explore ways of getting these hydrocarbons to European markets as a potential alternative on Russian gas.

Additionally, the European Union agreed earlier this year to allocate 657 million euros ($687 million) to build a 2,000 megawatt submarine power cable that will link the three countries’ power grids. .

Officials said that with the completion of the cable dubbed the “Eurasia Interconnector”, it is expected that more investment will go into renewable sources improving the energy mix of Greece, Cyprus and Israel.

An earlier idea for a gas pipeline link appears to have fallen out of favor amid question marks over its cost and environmental impact.