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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-03-29

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Downer: No new meeting scheduled in Cyprus talks
  • [02] French support towards Cyprus' EU Presidency
  • [03] US recognizes Cyprus` right to drill, American envoy says
  • [04] Cyprus to provide uninterrupted energy supply to the EU

  • [01] Downer: No new meeting scheduled in Cyprus talks

    The UN believes that it is up to the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot community leaders to decide on future meetings, in the context of ongoing peace talks.

    UN Secretary General's Special Advisor for Cyprus Alexander Downer said Thursday that whether the leaders will continue to have meetings in the framework of the UN-led talks for a solution to the Cyprus problem is a matter for them.

    "The timing of the leaders' meeting is ultimately a matter for them because as I have often said this is a Cypriot-owned and Cypriot-led process. That was one of the bases for these negotiations laid down at the very beginning of this process", he said in statements after the meeting between President of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.

    He was answering a question on whether today's meeting was the last for the year, following Eroglu's statements to the local press for such a possibility.

    "For the year? Well it's only March. Look, the point I make about leaders' meetings is that we are always happy to host meetings. Although I am leaving the island on Saturday, Lisa Buttenheim and the rest of our team will still be here. They are, of course, always available to the leaders", he pointed out.

    He said however that there was not a new meeting scheduled at that stage, but if the leaders wished to have a meeting next week or the week after next or both, they would be happy to facilitate it.

    Secretary General's Special Advisor also said that he will brief by video, this afternoon, the United Nations Security Council, based on the report that the Secretary General produced for the Security Council earlier this month on Cyprus issue.

    He added that by Friday night, he needs to complete his report to the Secretary General on the state of the negotiations.

    "I'll be going to New York in the middle of April and meeting with the Secretary General. We will have a talk then about how the Secretary General sees the way ahead", he said.

    The leaders' discussion on today's meeting focused on property.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest round of UN-led talks has been underway since 2008 with an aim to reunify the island under a federal roof.

    [02] French support towards Cyprus' EU Presidency

    Defence Minister Demetris Eliades expressed the French government's full support towards Cyprus in chairing the Presidency of the Council of the EU, during the second term of 2012, in a responsible and reliable manner.

    Eliades was speaking in Nicosia, following his meeting with the Chief of Staff of the French Army, General Berthand Ract-Madoux, who is paying Cyprus an official visit.

    Excellent relations between France and Cyprus in all areas were confirmed during the meeting, Eliades went on, adding that contacts were held in the framework of further developing ties between the Defence Ministries and the Armed Forces of the two countries.

    General Ract-Madoux thanked the people of Cyprus for their warm welcome and expressed his confidence in the strengthening of cooperation between the two sides. "We will improve our excellent relations even in military matters", the French Chief of Staff said, adding that there are a lot of common points and common projects.

    [03] US recognizes Cyprus` right to drill, American envoy says

    The US recognizes Cyprus` right to drill in its offshore zone, Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy, Ambassador Richard Morningstar has stressed in his speech as guest of honor at a luncheon hosted during the Economist Investment Energy Summit in Athens. American companies bring unparalleled world-class experience in offshore exploration and we support their bids to work in the region, as we do in other regions, he said.

    ``As we have also said many times, we believe that any potential revenue from future oil and gas resources in Cyprus should be equitably shared between both communities. And our key message both to the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey reflects on longstanding policy, which is to support the Cypriot-led efforts under UN auspices to reunify the island into a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, and encouraging the two sides to come to a peaceful settlement. And that this issue, the issue of resources, if done right, could help us get there. And this would allow all of Cyprus and other countries to share the benefits of the eastern Mediterranean,`` he added.

    The American Ambassador said that Israel`s significant offshore natural gas finds, including the ``Tamar`` and ``Leviathan`` fields, are one of the largest offshore gas finds of the past decade. This put Israel onto the hydrocarbon map and initiated significant changes in Israel`s energy economy and investment and energy policies, he stressed.

    And this gas will significantly enhance Israel`s energy security and Israel, even as we speak, is presently examining its export potential, including through LNG, he added, pointing out that Greece is also working to identify potential hydrocarbons for exploitation. The Greek government has announced tenders for seismic studies and hydrocarbon exploration onshore in the Ionian Sea and south of the island of Crete, he noted.

    [04] Cyprus to provide uninterrupted energy supply to the EU

    ‘he government of Cyprus aims at turning the country into a regional energy centre that will gather, process, transport or transit resources from the area to international markets, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister, Neoclis Sylikiotis has said.

    In a speech at the Investment Energy Summit, entitled ``Greece, Cyprus, Israel: Redesigning the European energy map``, organised by The Economist in Athens, Sylikiotis said that conditions are now such that the coastal area of the Eastern Mediterranean is turning into an area of common borders and interests for all.

    In his speech, Sylikiotis referred to energy issues, noting that Cyprus has exercised its sovereign rights according to the Law of the Sea Convention, and made agreements to delimitate its Exclusive Economic Zone with Egypt in 2003 and in 2007, with Lebanon in 2010 and with Israel recently.

    Referring to developments in Cyprus, since the start of exploratory work in block 12, Sylikiotis said that "undoubtedly the results of the exploratory drilling, as announced last December, confirming the existence of large amounts of natural gas within Cyprus' EEZ, create new prospects and a new dynamic as far as Cyprus' role is concerned in the wider political and energy field in the Eastern Mediterranean". At the same time, he added, "it signals positive prospects and long-term economic development, following the attraction of new investment in the various fields of our economy".

    In December 2011 Cyprus President Demetris Christofias announced that the results of the exploratory drilling in Cyprus` block 12 are positive, describing the discovery of hydrocarbons as historic for the island.


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