21 May 2014

Cyprus, Greece and Israel agree to cooperate on preventing pollution in the Mediterranean sea

Last week, during a Union for the Mediterranean Ministerial Meeting on Environment and Climate Change that took place in Athens, Cypriot Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Nicos Kouyialis, Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz and Greek Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change Yiannis Maniatis, expressed their intentions to sign an agreement in June which will focus on protecting the Mediterranean Sea through conducting coastal research,  examining oil pollution, and exploring hydrocarbon reserves – intended to protect the environment and prevent pollution in the sea from natural gas drilling and economic activity.

The Union meeting was attended by more than 40 ministers and senior representatives from Europe and the region, including Ministers from Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Turkey and the Palestinian Authority. During the meeting, the Ministers discussed issues concerning the Horizon 2020 Initiative to de-pollute the sea, climate change in the Mediterranean, environment and climate investments, and sustainable consumption and production in the Mediterranean. Their decision to join forces, aims to prevent disasters such as the 2010 oil spill that hit the Gulf of Mexico.

Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz emphasized his disappointment in the crisis surrounding the peace talks and said:

“The sea is the same sea, and the neighbors will remain the same neighbors, so we have to find a way to live together, country next to country. A Palestinian state is not only in the interest of Israel and the Palestinians, but it is also in the interest of all the countries that take part in this conference.

The region’s countries must unite so that widespread economic activity in the Mediterranean Sea will leverage cooperation for peace and for the environment.”

Jordanian Environment Minister Taher al-Shakhshir welcomed Peretz’s comments and reinforced the need for peace and the establishment of two states for two peoples.

Article by: ServPro Accountants and Consultants

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