‘Natural gas exports will 1st go to Arab neighbors’

Landau says gas can be means to improve regional ties; Israel, Greece sign agreement for cooperation on environmental issues.

Landau with Greek counterpart Papaconstantinou - By Courtesy Energy and Water Ministry

Landau with Greek counterpart Papaconstantinou – By Courtesy Energy and Water Ministry

By exporting portions of its natural gas to the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, Israel could help bridge relations on a broader level with its neighbors, Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau said on Wednesday.

 “Naturally, the immediate export of natural gas will be to our neighbors the Palestinians and the Jordanians, and I believe that this connection will be an important step in building trust and peace in the region,” Landau said, according to his office.

The minister was speaking at The Economist magazine’s Investment Energy Summit – Greece, Cyprus, Israel: Redesigning the European Energy Map, held in Athens on Wednesday and Thursday, in cooperation with Greece’s Environment, Energy and Climate Change Ministry; Cyprus’s Commerce, Industry and Tourism Ministry; the Greek Israeli Chamber of Commerce & Technology; and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Addressing participants during the conference’s opening session, Landau joined the energy and environment ministers of both Greece and Cyprus. The three ministers later took part in an open discussion about global challenges and the specific problems that the countries in this region share, the ministry said.

For Israel in particular, there will be specific challenges as the economy strives to cope with an entirely new, and extensive, addition to the market, according to Landau.

“The energy market is expected to transfer to the most extensive use of natural gas, opening the use of natural gas and its products such as methanol for transportation,” he said.

This diverse array of opportunities will enable Israel to “free [itself] as much as possible from the dependence on Arab crude oil,” Landau added.

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