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PM plays down Israel-Cyprus-Greece alliance

Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Lebanon was looking to secure its interests in the face of an energy alliance developing between Israel, Cyprus and Greece.

“We talked with Cyprus and we have our interests that we will not give up,” Hariri said during a trip to Washington, where he met with senior U.S. officials. “This issue has been discussed, but so far this alliance does not exist because the Turks oppose it on the one hand, and even the Cypriots have not fully settled the matter,” he said.

Hariri’s comments came just a week after representatives of Israel, Cyprus, Greece and the United States met in Athens in order to shore up an alliance between the East Med nations.

A joint statement released by the U.S. Embassy after the meeting underlined “the increasing and tangible support of the US government for the establishment of a structured quadrilateral mechanism for cooperation that focuses on energy matters.”

The U.S. also joined a meeting of Cyprus, Israel, Greece and Egypt, in late July.

Lebanon and Turkey meanwhile have not participated in wider regional energy cooperation forums, including the Eastern Mediterannean Gas Forum launched earlier this year which includes Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan and the Palestinians.

Photo source: Greek Reporter Greece website. 

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