Total to start drills in Block 6 ‘soon’
Senior executives at French energy giant Total told President Nicos Anastasiades during his working visit to Paris, that following the company’s recent drill during the summer they are now “engaged in a new campaign soon on Block 6 with ENI.”
Anastasiades was received in Paris by Total’s CEO, Patrick Pouyanne, and the Vice President of the Division of North Africa and Middle East Elias Kassis, in the presence of the Government Spokesman, Nikos Christodoulides.
After the meeting Pouyanne told reporters that, “I hope we will be able to make some good discoveries for Cyprus in the near the future.”
On his part, Christodoulides told reporters that “the decision of Total to proceed with its plans for Block 6 is a positive development. This is, on the part of the company, a vote of confidence for the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus.”
The spokesman added
that energy was one of the issues discussed between President Anastasiades and his host, President Macron, during their meeting.
In statements after returning to Cyprus, Christodoulides said that ‘based on their discussions and the statements that followed, we could say that the visit constitutes a milestone in the relations between the Republic of Cyprus and France’.
As regards bilateral relations, he said that the discussion focused on energy, defence – security and economy.
He added that in the next few days, high ranking officials of the French Defence Ministry will visit Cyprus to discuss issues concerning the naval base in Zygi and other issues to strengthen cooperation in the field of defence.
Referring to the second pillar of the discussions, regarding the Cyprus problem and the relations between the EU and Turkey, the Spokesman said that there is a clear commitment on behalf of France for a more substantive and more involvement in the Cyprus issue.
Regarding the EU–Turkey relations, he said that Turkey’s role in some fields, including the refugees’ crisis, is important, but noted that this does by no means imply that Turkey should not fulfil its EU obligations towards all EU member states, including the Republic of Cyprus.
As regards the future of Europe, Christodoulides said that the French President has put forward some ideas and that discussion will continue in the framework of the meeting of the EU – Mediterranean countries which will take place in Cyprus in January.
Asked whether the Turkish provocations in Cyprus’ EEZ were discussed during the meeting of the two Presidents, Christodoulides said that Macron’s reference to Paris’ strong support to Total’s activities in Cyprus’ EEZ, demonstrates France’s vote of confidence in Cyprus’ activities.