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January 15, 2020 12:38 pm

In Letter to Sisi, Israel’s Rivlin Hails Start of Flow of Natural Gas to Egypt

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

A view of the Israeli Leviathan gas processing rig in the Mediterranean Sea, Jan. 31, 2019. Photo: Marc Israel Sellem / Pool.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin sent an official letter to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Wednesday, celebrating the activation of Israel’s natural gas pipeline to Egypt.

The Leviathan undersea natural gas field, located off the northern Israeli port city of Haifa, went online on Wednesday, pumping gas to Egypt as per a mutual agreement and engineering project between Israel and Egypt.

“Today is a day to celebrate in the history of the relations between our two countries,” Rivlin wrote to Sisi, saying that the Leviathan project “makes real the connection” between their two countries.

The pipeline, Rivlin said, was “just one example of the many ways we can work more closely together, bringing benefit to all.”

“I hope that our respective private sectors and entrepreneurs … will see this as an opportunity to develop many more such projects,” he added.

“Bringing the fruits of peace to our peoples would be the greatest tribute to their brave leadership and the best guarantee of a better, safer future for us all,” Rivlin wrote.

The Leviathan and Tamar gas fields are expected to make Israel energy independent, and the pipeline to Egypt is only one of several such projects, with Israel recently concluding an agreement to build another pipeline to export gas to Cyprus and Greece — the so-called “East-Med” project.

It is hoped that this will open the European market to future Israeli energy exports.

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