Noa natural gas field > Uri Kfir, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Israel, Egypt and the European Union signed a memorandum of understanding last week in Cairo that will see the Jewish state export its natural gas to the EU for the first time.

The landmark agreement will increase the sale of liquified natural gas to EU countries, which are working to reduce dependence on supply from Russia in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine.

Last year, the EU imported roughly 40 percent of its energy in the form of Russian gas.

Since the imposition of sweeping sanctions against Moscow, many European countries have sought to identify alternative sources of gas.

The agreement signed last week will see Israel send gas via Egypt, which has facilities to liquify it for export via sea.

Israel’s energy minister, Karine Elharrar, said the signing of the MOU had cemented Israel’s role on the global energy stage.

“This is a tremendous moment in which little Israel is becoming a significant player in the global energy stage”, Elharrar said.

She called the deal “historic”, including the Israeli-Egyptian cooperation involved in it.

She continued: “This is a statement to those who see in our region only negative forces such as division and conflict. This MOU shows us that we are paving a new path of partnership, solidarity and sustainability”.