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Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Did Israel just back our quest to become the region’s premier energy hub?

Israel’s foreign ministry gave our quest to become the East Med’s gas export hub a huge pat on the back at the expense of Turkey. A classified report from Israel’s Foreign Ministry has recommended that Israel rely on exporting its natural gas to Europe through Egypt, rather than Turkey, according to Ynet News (Hebrew). According to the report, Egypt is the best option on the economic, political, and strategic fronts than Turkey, which is “a dangerous and volatile player,” and is also preferable to Greece.

The endorsement casts shade on an EU-endorsed pipeline that would run from the East Mediterranean through Turkey — the rival proposal to exporting the gas to Europe from Egypt. Energy analysts have long complained that the pipeline was not cost effective compared with the Egypt option. Regional politics and tensions between Israel, Cyprus and Turkey have also dimmed the prospects of the pipeline. Not to mention the fact that plans to export from Egypt are already underway with international agreements having been signed, including the USD 800 mn-1 bn pipeline.

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