Greek-American congressmen demand meeting on East Med pipeline

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Two members of the US Congress have requested a meeting with Naz Durakoglu, Acting Assistant Secretary of State, to determine the US government’s policy regarding the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Pipeline, saying that by canceling the project, the State Department ” unilaterally took [energy] options on the table.

Gus M. Bilirakis and Nicole Malliotakis were responding to a letter from Durakogluin which she said that “the United States has not reversed its position because it has not so far formally or financially supported the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Pipeline”.

In response, Bilirakis and Malliotakis said it was “simply not true” that the US had never supported the project, referring to a number of joint statements made by the Greek and US governments as well. as well as the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Law (EastMed Law).

The politicians also say officials who “oversaw energy diplomacy under the Trump administration…have repeatedly voiced US support for the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Pipeline.”

“Whether you want to call the administration’s position a clarification or a reversal, it is clearly a position at odds with positions taken under the Trump administration, at odds with positions taken by members of Congress and contrary to U.S. law,” Bilirakis said. and Malliotakis said.

Bilirakis and Malliotakis also dispute what they describe as the “logic behind this policy reversal”.

“While previous expressions of U.S. support for the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Pipeline were indeed conditional on commercial viability, and the State Department policy reversal assumes the absence of such viability, this is a conclusion which seems to have been drawn unilaterally, in the absence of consultations with our allies and partners in the region and before carrying out the feasibility studies.

“The EastMed Act requires multiple reports to be submitted to Congress regarding energy development and infrastructure, and to our knowledge, no report has been submitted to thoroughly analyze the issue of commercial viability. The State Department appears to rushing to a conclusion here and, in the process, skipping several key steps, including consulting with U.S. allies and partners and the U.S. Congress, as required by EastMed law.

Bilirakis and Malliotakis also criticized the State Department’s intention to pressure its allies and partners “to follow your policy reversal.”

“The State Department has unilaterally taken options off the table. The way the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Pipeline issue has been handled only helps nefarious influences, including Russia, Turkey and Iran, that we have identified in the EastMed law.

“We request an in-person briefing for ourselves, the other co-sponsors of the House version of the EastMed Act, Representatives Ted Deutch and David Cicilline, and other interested members of this decision by Mr. Amos Hochstein and anyone else responsible for drafting the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Pipeline non-paper and determining administration policy on bringing Eastern Mediterranean energy resources to market quickly,” they conclude.

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