Jordan, Palestinians Are Gas Export Priority: Israel’s Energy Minister

Uzi Landau said that the use of Israeli natural gas by our neighbors will create confidence and foster peace in the region.

“The immediate natural gas exports that we can think about are to the Jordanians and Palestinians. We believe that the use of Israeli natural gas by our neighbors will create confidence and foster peace in the region,” said Minister of Energy and Water Uzi Landau at “The Economist’s” Investment Energy Summit: Greece, Cyprus, Israel” in Athens today.

Landau congratulated Cyprus on the success of its natural gas explorations now underway, and Greece for its explorations, which will begin next month. “Your success is the region’s success,” he said, and reiterated experts’ assessments about the huge reserves in the Levant Basin.

“The energy market is expected to switch to extensive use of natural gas,” added Landau. “We’ll develop the use of natural gas and its products, such as methanol for transportation, which will free us as much as possible from dependence on Arab oil.”

Late last year, Israel signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Cyprus, following its natural gas discoveries. Ties between Israel and Greece are also becoming closer, especially in view of the diplomatic crisis with Turkey. Landau said, “We are certain that, in the Middle East, which is currently in chaos, this partnership between Israel, Greece and Cyprus will create a basis for stability that is so important for the region.”

Israel’s ambassador to Greece told Landau that six Israeli ministers had visited Greece last year to establish collaborations, and that twelve Greek ministers had visited Israel, demonstrating the fertile collaboration between the two countries.

The Ministry of Energy and Water Resources said that, during his visit, Landau would sign an environmental protection cooperation agreement with Greek Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change George Papakonstantinou. The agreement will cover the sharing of know-how and experience, with an emphasis on water resources, sewage treatment and water reuse, desalination, and supervision of biogas, biomass, and energy conservation.

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