Greece, Israel and Cyprus have signed an agreement to build the Eastern Mediterranean natural gas pipeline to supply Europe from Israeli and Cypriot offshore fields.

Turkey, which sees itself as central to any gas exports from the emerging Eastern Mediterranean gas basin, described the deal as "futile".

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the signing ceremony for the EastMed project in Athens on Thursday.

"Today we did not simply sign a beneficial agreement.