David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem, March 20, 2019
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Good evening. I want to welcome to Jerusalem our dear friends the president of Cyprus, President Anastasiades, Nicos; the prime minister of Greece, Prime Minister Tsipras, Alexis; and the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. It’s good to see you all here.
This is the sixth summit meeting between Israel, Cyprus, and Greece. We began this a few years ago and it’s blossomed into one of the best regional associations in the world. We cooperate in everything, from firefighting now to energy. We are planning to lay down a pipeline called the EastMed pipeline from Israel, through Cyprus, through Greece, to Europe. Something that will benefit our economies greatly, provide stability for the region and prosperity to our peoples, but also we think would diversify the energy supplies to Europe.
The fact that we are joined in this meeting by the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo I think is significant. It signifies the fact that the United States supports this regional effort, and it has many, many facets that we’re going to discuss, and I think that it says that this is something for the long haul. Obviously, we would welcome the association not only of the United States but other countries, something that we’re going to discuss as soon as we complete the open part of this meeting.
So welcome, friends. It’s good to see you again. And we’re planning our next meeting as we speak.
PRESIDENT ANASTASIADES: This is indeed a great moment, and I want to thank my very good friend the prime minister of Israel, Netanyahu – Benjamin Netanyahu, my dearest friend Bibi, for convening this very historic meeting in Jerusalem. We are delighted to have the American Secretary of State, Mr. Mike Pompeo, joining us today. His presence is a tangible proof that our three countries constitute reliable partners to the United States, particularly in the fields of energy and security, and an anchor of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Our region (inaudible) of an Eastern Mediterranean energy corridor is an excellent example in this respect. I want to assure Cyprus unwavering commitment to this reliable and strong partnership that aims through tangible actions to generate much-needed security, stability, and prosperity in our (inaudible) in the region. This is our grand-scale vision, and we are extremely happy that the Secretary of State is here to endorse its geopolitical value on behalf of the United States, and I look forward to a productive discussion of issues of common interest such as energy security with respect of sovereign rights and the protection of energy and marine activities, and of course diversification of energy.
Once again, thank you, Bibi.
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Thank you. Thank you.
PRIME MINISTER TSIPRAS: So I want to thank Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It is not the first time – I cannot count how many times I have been in Jerusalem. This is the sixth time that we’re meeting together in this strategic trilateral cooperation. So I’m feeling so familiar here in Jerusalem. I think that in the last few years, the role of our countries in the Eastern Mediterranean, together and individually, has become stronger. Our cooperation has become strategic – our trilateral cooperation has become strategic – and particularly in the fields of energy and security.
The participation of Secretary of State Mr. Pompeo in the alliance, the United States support in our strategic cooperation, and his participation, I think that it will strengthen our efforts and our dialogue, especially on the field of energy but not only – security and economy as well – are challenges that we have ahead, and I think that the region have a lot of challenges but also important opportunities.
Our basic ideas – idea is very simple but very significant as well. The idea is to create a safe and secure network to transport the energy resources of the region of the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe through Israel, through Cyprus, through Greece, to Europe. And I think that the establishment of the EastMed pipeline can help both security dialogue and economic development of the region.
So I look forward to our discussions in this regard, and I think that our discussion could be beneficial not only in the energy field, but about security, safety, stability, and the economic development of the region. Thank you.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you. Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for hosting us here in Jerusalem. I’m looking forward to our discussion. Prime Minister Tsipras, President Anastasiades, you don’t know but about a week ago I spoke in Houston, Texas, to a big group of energy leaders from all around the world, talking about opportunities and projects just like this, about how energy connects up with our security interests in America and how the opportunities to create energy in places that we hadn’t had it before and transport it and create the infrastructure in places that we’ve not had it before is an enormous benefit. I think this is incredibly timely. Revisionist powers like Iran and Russia and China are all trying to take major footholds in the East and in the West, and we view the United States and Israel and the Republic of Cyprus and Greece as great, key partners in security and prosperity.
So I’m very much looking forward to our conversation this evening. As we cooperate on these important energy issues, I know we’ll improve our security and prosperity even more broadly between our four nations. We believe this deeply. When free countries with free markets act together and work to develop infrastructure for energy, greater security always follows. And I know this too: If we do this right, we will attract the investment that will maximize these resources in a way that good infrastructure and open markets always do.
I’m looking forward to cooperating with each of you in this opportunity in the Eastern Mediterranean. Thank you for allowing me to be here tonight.
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Thank you. Thank you, Mike, and thank you all. Thank you.