The East Made Natural Gas Project 2022 will be signed next week

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Greece says it is moving ahead with a pipeline with Israel and Cyprus, despite Palestinian objections.

Palestinian leaders strongly objected to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ announcement on December 22 that he would sign an agreement with Israel and Cyprus on the Eastern Mediterranean gas pipeline project in Athens next Thursday.

Italy is expected to join the deal later, as the offshore/offshore natural gas route to Greece will be connected to Italy and other European countries through additional pipelines.

In 2015, negotiations began on the construction of the gas pipeline, which is expected to become a key link in Europe’s energy supply network.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Mitsoutaks and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades last weekend, according to an official in the Israeli prime minister’s office who spoke on condition of anonymity. They agreed to hold a tripartite summit where the three countries would sign the agreement.

The official told The Media Line that the meeting will take place after the leaders’ summit held in Jerusalem last March with the participation of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

During the March 20 summit, representatives of Greece, Cyprus and Israel signed an interim agreement on the gas pipeline. Pompeo’s presence was seen as a sign of US approval.

Energy Minister Joel Stantz is expected to join Netanyahu in Athens, an Israeli official said.

The EastMed project is also supported by the European Union because of its importance for the diversification of Europe’s energy resources. This will provide 10% of the EU’s natural gas needs, reducing its dependence on Russia.

Ammar Hijazi, Assistant Minister for Multilateral Affairs at the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told The Media Line that the PA’s main objection was normalizing regional relations with Israel. In addition, there is objection to any attempts to develop gas resources along the “Palestinian” coast.

Hijazi said that Greece and Cyprus “should not continue international agreements with a country that does not respect international law, as the normalization of Israel’s presence in the region under the status quo is a dangerous business and continues.” Encourages the occupation,” Hijazi said. “These countries have a responsibility as third parties to use their position to prevent Israel from exploiting Palestinian natural resources while preventing their use by Palestinians.”

He noted that, in general, when a country puts itself above international law, most of its relations with it cease until it changes its behavior.

“Ignoring the fact about Israel shows that these countries do not care much about the international law that concerns us [Palestinians] about the borders of this project, even if it is natural. Protect the rights of Palestinians to gas resources and what are the conditions to prevent theft of Palestinian gas through the project network.

Hijazi argued that the gas fields exploited by Israel were near the PA’s borders and should be shared with the Palestinians.

“It does not mention Israel’s oil exploration in the West Bank and elsewhere, which is a very dangerous thing to allow a country to steal other people’s resources,” he added.

An official in the Israeli prime minister’s office stressed that the agreement, which will be signed next week, will be a continuation of a memorandum of understanding signed between the three countries in December 2017, which was preceded by a preliminary feasibility study. ۔

“The agreement will cement the countries’ commitment to the project,” the official said.

“For many years, government ministries, led by the Ministry of Energy and the Prime Minister’s Office, have been pushing for the implementation of this project, which will contribute to Europe’s energy security and the prosperity of Israel and the Eastern Mediterranean,” the official added. ۔

East Med 2000 km project. The $6.6 billion to $6.6 billion pipeline is expected to transport 11 billion cubic meters of gas annually from Cyprus and Israel’s Far East Basin to Greece. From there, the gas will be pumped to Italy (via the Poseidon pipeline) and other countries in South-Eastern Europe (via the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnector).

Khalil Hussein, a professor of international law, international relations and diplomacy at the Lebanese University and a lecturer at Beirut Arab University, told The Media Line that the plan would only violate Palestinian rights if it violated regional waters and/or territorial waters. Or pass through a special economic zone. Gaza Strip

Hussein said Gaza’s territorial waters in the Mediterranean Sea range from one nautical mile (about 1.15 conventional constitutional miles) to the 12th mile, and its exclusive economic zone extends from the 12 nautical mile mark to 200 nautical miles. It happened

He said that based on international maritime law, every country has full sovereignty over its territorial waters, where no other country can carry out any plan without full approval and coordination of sovereignty.

Regarding Gaza’s special economic zone, he said there is no absolute sovereignty, and while it has the right to carry out economic projects and discover resources, other countries have the same right. , But only in harmony.

“In the future, when an independent Palestinian state is established, if the East Sedina project covers any of Gaza’s territorial waters or its exclusive economic zone, then [Israel, Greece and Cyprus] will coordinate with the Palestinian Authority. Will be bound by law. “, – Huseyn explained.

“If none of these areas are included in the plan,” he continued, “the PA has no right to accuse Israel of anything or legally oppose it.”

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