Tsipras-Netanyahu discuss EastMed pipeline during Balkan summit

The Eastern Mediterranean pipeline’s  geopolitical significance in transferring natural gas from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe, was stressed by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Bulgarian seaside resort of Varna on Friday, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported.

The area around Cyprus holds potentially huge reserves of natural gas, and while a host of foreign states and companies have made agreements with the Greek Republic of Cyprus to conduct gas exploration, Turkey, as the only country to recognise the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, has firmly opposed exploration that it says will infringe on Turkish Cypriots’ rights.

Tsipras, who met the Israeli premier on the sidelines of a Balkan summit of said the project is of “financial and geopolitical high value,” the newspaper said.

The upgrading of the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki into a Balkan hub of innovation with the participation of Israeli businesses was also discussed during the meeting between the Greek and Israeli leader.

Meanwhile, Turkey's first drilling vessel, Fatih, has started its first deep drilling in offshore Antalya on the county's southern Mediterranean coast on Tuesday.