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 ó the only EU member in the region ó can further promote the twin goals of diversifying energy sources and suppliers. By providing a new and flexible energy stream, Cyprus can contribute to Europeís 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.