by: Ilse Strauss
Thursday, 16 June 2022 | Thursday, 16 June 2022 | Israel, Egypt and the European Union (EU) inked a landmark export deal yesterday in Cairo that will see natural gas flow from the Jewish state via Egypt and on to the block states for the first time.
Yesterday’s historic agreement comes as the EU turned to Israel as an alternative gas source to fill the position previously occupied by the Russians.
The EU previously looked to Moscow as its main gas supplier, importing up to 40% of its gas from Russia. But the Ukrainian invasion signaled an end to the free flow. In the aftermath of the Russian tanks rolling into its sovereign neighbor, the EU imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow, and has been facing energy difficulties ever since.
“It is known that the Russian war against Ukraine has exposed our European dependency on Russian fossil fuels, and we want to get rid of this dependency,” European Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen said during a joint news conference with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
The terms of the agreement stipulate that Israel will send its gas to Egypt, which has the facilities to liquefy it before shipping the energy source on to the EU.
According to Israeli Energy Minister Karine Elharrar, the memorandum of understanding cements Israel’s role on the global energy stage.
“This is a tremendous moment in which little Israel is becoming a significant player in the global energy market,” Elharrar said.
“The memorandum of understanding will allow Israel to export Israeli natural gas to Europe for the first time, and it is even more impressive when one looks at the string of significant agreements we have signed in the past year, positioning Israel and the Israeli energy and water economy as a key player in the world.”
The “historic” nature of the deal goes beyond Israel’s giant leap forward in the international energy arena. According to Elharrar, the close cooperation between onetime arch enemies Israel and Egypt add to the prominence of the agreement.
“This is a statement to those who see in our region only negative forces such as division and conflict. This [Memorandum of Understanding] shows us that we are paving a new path of partnership, solidarity and sustainability.”
Channel 12 news reported that the agreement means an initial annual income of US $290 million or NIS 1 billion for Israel.
Posted on June 16, 2022
Source: (Bridges for Peace, June 16, 2022)
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