A spokesperson for the US State Department remarked on Thursday that the United States is “supportive of connecting distribution grids of mainland Europe to Cyprus and Israel via the EuroAsia Interconnector” despite Turkish protesting the formal memorandum of understanding that was signed between Greece, Israel and Cyprus last week.
The EuroAsia Interconnector is a gigantic undersea cable that will be capable of handling 2,000 megawatts of power, serving as a backup power system for the three countries in case of necessity.
“It is a cost-effective and flexible route that can be used not only for electricity but as a platform to deploy other renewable energy sources,” the US official told members of the press regarding the ambitious trilateral project.
The spokesman then added that the United States “supports all efforts to reduce tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean” and also welcomes the resumption of exploratory talks between Greece and Turkey in Athens this week.
The spokesman noted that the meeting was a sign of “commitment of both governments to this process.”
The nations of Greece, Israel and Cyprus signed an initial agreement last Monday to build the world’s longest and deepest underwater power cable in an effort to link the electrical grids of the three nations.
The new link, which will traverse the mountainous Mediterranean seabed, comes at a cost of approximately $900 million.
Euro-Asia Interconnector Undersea Cable
The extraordinarily ambitious project, will provide a back-up power source in times of emergency, according to Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, who was in Nicosia to sign a memorandum of understanding with his counterparts.
Cypriot Energy Minister Natasa Pilides said it marked “a decisive step towards ending the island’s energy isolation, and consequently, our dependence on heavy fuels.”
The cable will have a capacity of 1,000-2,000 megawatts (MW) and is expected to be completed by 2024, according to Israel’s energy ministry.
"EuroAsia interconnector will help build on more options for renewable #energy, contribute to energy security & in reducing energy prices” –
Energy Min @steinitz_yuval during signing ceremony of #Cyprus🇨🇾 #Israel🇮🇱 #Greece🇬🇷 MoU on EuroAsia Interconnector in #Nicosia pic.twitter.com/BHTrWL593W
— Israel in Cyprus (@IsraelinCyprus) March 8, 2021
New strategic partnership “significant”
Greece and Israel have recently strengthened their ties in the energy, security and other sectors, with a face-to-face meeting taking place between Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu on February 8 of this year.
The two Mediterranean leaders spoke of security issues that have cropped up in the region of late, with the Greek PM stating afterward in their press conference that the new strategic partnership between the nations was “significant.” He then added that the Mediterranean “must remain a sea of peace for all countries.”
On Friday, Secretary of State Blinken posted on Twitter that he was looking forward to attending the NATO Foreign Ministerial meetings, to be held on March 23 — 24 in Brussels as a way to “reaffirm America’s commitment to our Allies.”
I'm looking forward to attending the @NATO Foreign Ministerial to reaffirm America’s commitment to our Allies. I'll also meet with my EU and Belgian counterparts on a range of issues, including Transatlantic cooperation, COVID-19 recovery, and global security.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) March 19, 2021