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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-04-17

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus and Israel discuss shared exploitation of hydrocarbons
  • [02] President holds contacts with UNSC members

  • [01] Cyprus and Israel discuss shared exploitation of hydrocarbons

    The Cypriot and the Israeli Foreign Ministers discussed here today the issue of shared development and exploitation of hydrocarbon deposits in the cross median line of the two countries and a mutual agreement soon to be signed between the two sides.

    The Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman, in Cyprus on a two-day official visit, today met with his Cypriot counterpart Erato Kozakou Markoullis.

    Speaking to the press after the meeting which lasted an hour, Markoullis said they had a discussion on some of the pending agreements currently under negotiation, "especially the one on the shared development and exploitation of hydrocarbon reservoirs in the cross median line", noting that "we are in the final stages of the negotiations on this agreement and hopefully soon we will have the opportunity to sign it".

    She described the visit of the Israeli FM and the talks they had today as an indication of the very high level of bilateral relations and of what the two countries have achieved during the past two years, especially with the exchange of visits and the signing of very important agreements and cooperation in a number of very important areas.

    According to Markoullis, during the discussions the two sides touched upon the cooperation in areas of crises handling (fires, floods and earthquakes) and talked about how this cooperation can be extended to other countries in the region "in order to better coordinate our efforts and forces to combat the crises."

    The two Ministers also discussed other regional issues, the situation in the Middle East, the Cyprus problem and threats from Turkey as well as the situation in the countries of the Arab spring.

    Lieberman described the discussion very fruitful, noting that both sides enjoy a lot of visits and contacts.

    He expressed his satisfaction over the fact that a lot of tourists from Israel visit Cyprus, hoping that this tourist flow will increase.

    The Israeli FM said that they discussed water management and energy issues, stressing that "we will have more investments and more activities in these fields".

    He expressed hope that both sides will reach an agreement on double taxation and the protection of investment, saying that the Israeli Finance Minister is expected to visit Nicosia in the coming months, "to accelerate on these talks regarding economic issues".

    Regarding the situation in the region, Lieberman said that both Nicosia and Tel Aviv monitor the situation very closely and "hope to see a peaceful transition period in all our neighboring countries".

    Replying to a question about his meeting with the Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos on Monday, Israeli FM said "the dialogue not only between political leaders but `people to people`, the spiritual leaders, is even more important than the dialogue between political leaders."

    He expressed his appreciation over the fact that "he (the Archbishop) has a very moderate approach to the dialogue between Judaism and Christianity".

    On the Turkish threats over Cyprus' research and exploitation of natural gas in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Lieberman said that "any threats are unacceptable behavior in today's international politics", stressing that the only way to resolve problems and disagreements is through direct talks "without any preconditions and prejudice".

    Last December the Cypriot government announced that the results of the exploratory drilling in Cyprus` block 12 were positive, describing the discovery of hydrocarbons as historic for the island.

    US company Noble Energy, which carried out the drilling, discovered 310 feet of net natural gas pay. The drilling reached a depth of 19,225 feet in water depth of about 5,540 feet.

    Cyprus has recently launched a second licensing round for the 12 remaining blocks of its EEZ.

    Turkey has warned to deploy warships in the Eastern Mediterranean in response to Cyprus' exploratory drilling and has also signed a "bilateral agreement" with the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime, in Turkish occupied Cyprus.

    Nicosia has protested to the UN and the EU, pointing out that the Republic is doing nothing more than exercising its sovereign rights as a nation.

    Cyprus has signed an agreement to delineate the Exclusive Economic Zone with Egypt and Israel with a view to exploit any possible natural gas and oil reserves in its EEZ. A similar agreement was signed with Lebanon but the Lebanese Parliament has not yet ratified it.

    Invited to comment on press reports that Cyprus, Israel, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania are forming an axis, he noted that Israel is open to all its neighboring countries and that cooperation will be beneficial for all sides in the fields of economy, politics, tourism and emergency situation management.

    "We are ready to open and strengthen our relation with every country in the region and we hope that all countries will be open and objective to this very open approach from our side", he noted.

    The Cypriot FM noted that Nicosia promotes this kind of cooperation, not only in managing emergencies and crises, but also in search and rescue.

    "We are already in talks with Lebanon and Egypt because this is our neighborhood and only through cooperation we can really combat such crises and phenomena", she said.

    [02] President holds contacts with UNSC members

    President Demetris Christofias continues contacts with the diplomatic representations of UN Security Council members in Cyprus, prior to a UN report on the situation on the island.

    The report is to be drafted by the UN Secretary General's Special Advisor for Cyprus, Alexander Downer, on the ongoing Cyprus talks and it is expected to be submitted to Ban Ki moon on April 19th, who will decide on the next steps.

    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said on Tuesday that President Christofias met today the Ambassador of China and the Charge d' affaires of the US in Cyprus, whom he briefed on the Cyprus problem and the latest developments.

    According to Stephanou, President Christofias also had contacts last week with the Russian Ambassador to Cyprus and the British High Commissioner. The President has also met the Ambassador of France who will leave soon, he added.


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