Even more importantly, these discoveries offer opportunities for creating stability and promoting cooperation in a region that historically has been sensitive and volatile.
Cyprus, Israel and Greece recently signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in energy and water. The three countries are also discussing a project for electricity interconnection. With this project, an underwater electricity cable will link Israel, Cyprus and Greece with the pan-European electricity grid. The project is a private initiative supported by these three countries, as well as by the European Commission.
For the European Union, natural gas from Cyprus — the only EU member in the region — can further promote the twin goals of diversifying energy sources and suppliers. By providing a new and flexible energy stream, Cyprus can contribute to Europe’s energy supplies and security purposes that the United States shares with its western allies, while being a more environmentally-friendly source of energy.
With its know-how and diplomatic support, the United States can help Cyprus to transform the eastern Mediterranean from a source of international instability to a supplier of environmentally friendly and economically sustainable energy.
Yiorgos Lakkotrypis is the minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism of the Republic of Cyprus.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.