A three-way summit between Cyprus, Greece, and Israel with the participation of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent a strong message to Ankara regarding energy security and its hostile behaviour in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the President of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiades, and PM Alexis Tsipras, and Pompeo issued a joint statement with a thinly veiled reference to Turkey as a ‘malign influence».
The joint statement is as follows:
«The governments of the United States, the State of Israel, the Hellenic Republic, and the Republic of Cyprus met today in Jerusalem to affirm their shared commitment to promoting peace, stability, security, and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Secretary Pompeo underlined U.S. support for the trilateral mechanism established by Israel, Greece, and Cyprus, noting the importance of increased cooperation. The leaders agreed to increase regional cooperation; to support energy independence and security; and to defend against external malign influences in the Eastern Mediterranean and the broader Middle East. They welcomed the recent natural gas find in the Eastern Mediterranean and its potential to contribute to energy security and diversification.»
As the Athens daily Ta Nea reported, the US supports the involvement of the Public Gas Corporation of Greece, Edison, and ExxonMobil in the Eastmed pipeline investment scheme to transport Israeli and eventually Cypriot gas to Europe via Cyprus and Greece.
As Cyprus’ Sigma Live reported, the meeting of the three leaders in the presence of the US Secretary of State was followed by expanded talks with the participation of the energy and foreign ministers.
Afterwards the three countries’ teams held expanded talks with the participation of Pompeo.
Anastasiades will was to hold bilateral talks with Pompeo.
The meeting in Jerusalem is one of the stops on Pompeo’s regional trip.
Aside from energy security, enhanced energy and military cooperation between the three countries and the broader geostrategic setting – with Cyprus and Greece playing an exceptionally upgraded role on the regional energy map -were high on the agenda.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was accompanied by Foreign Minister Yorgos Katrougalos and Environment Minister Yorgos Stathakis.
The President of Cyprus, Nikos Anastasiades, was accompanied by Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulidis, Energy Minister Georgios Lakkotrypis, and government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou.
According to Israel’s Ambassador to Cyprus, Sammy Revel, Pompeo’s participation “constitutes a strong indication of support for the three-way framework and the increased cooperation between our countries”.