Integral to Israel’s foreign policy since the early 1950s is a “peripheral” engagement with non-Arab countries situated beyond proximate hostile Arab Muslim neighbors. In part to serve that purpose of strengthening its strategic regional presence, in August 2013, Israel signs a framework agreement with Greece and Cyprus to link their nations’ electrical grids. Their trilateral understanding reinforces their respective nations’ access to enormous size natural gas fields situated in the Mediterranean in close proximity to their countries, Lebanon and Turkey. With Israel already engaged in extracting this vast natural resource, Greece and Cyprus, whose economies have suffered recently, align with Israel for access to much needed gas supplies. This Declaration excludes Turkey, a part-time adversary of the three signatories. Israel’s natural gas discoveries have huge upside for satisfying Israel’s domestic needs. And they afford Israel’s influence over its peripheral neighbors, with Jordanian and Palestinian companies lining up for natural gas from Israeli sources.
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