Environment and Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis on Wednesday had a meeting with the U.S. State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Matthew Palmer, where he raised the government’s concerns over Turkey’s provocative actions in relation to Cyprus. On his part, Palmer stressed that Greece is at the heart of energy infrastructure developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The full statement follows:
“Greece’s strategic cooperation with the U.S. in the energy sector is very positive. I have explained to the American side the progress we have had lately in a number of energy projects. First of all the signing with the Bulgarian side of the agreement on the IGB, the Greek-Bulgarian gas interconnector. Secondly, all issues regarding TAP (TransAdriatic Pipeline) have been settled. Thirdly, we take a positive view of the FSRU Floating Storage Regasification Unit in Alexandroupolis, which will reinforce the country’s geostrategic position and create a different landscape for gas trading.
“We also discussed the issue of cooperation in the hydrocarbons sector, especially gas in the Southeastern Mediterranean, both within the framework of the EastMed Gas Forum and Greece’s contacts with countries such as Cyprus, Egypt, Israel. In particular, we talked about the project related to the EastMed gas pipeline, which is intended to connect Israel to Cyprus, Greece and eventually Italy.
“I expressed our concerns about Turkey’s provocative actions around Cyprus. They have also spoken publicly and their statements are obviously in the direction of recognising the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus.”
On his part, Palmer said: “The U.S. and the Trump administration are committed to working in the Mediterranean. Our relations with Greece are strong and dynamic. I am visiting the Ministry of Energy to highlight opportunities for further development of our cooperation.
“We discussed ways to develop cooperation in the energy sector, including on Liquefied Natural Gas, the Alexandroupolis Station, the Greece-Bulgaria gas pipeline, and ways to collaborate on integrating Alexandroupolis into the Western Balkans network. It is positive that the TAP pipeline is ready and it is important that Europe supports energy security through diversification of supply sources. The TAP pipeline is a big part of it, just like the Greece-Bulgaria pipeline. Greece is at the heart of energy infrastructure development in the Eastern Mediterranean. There is still much work to be done to see the most economical way of transporting gas from the Eastern Mediterranean to the markets. A number of options are being considered, the U.S. strongly supports cooperation between countries in the region on the development and transfer of energy resources.”
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