To­tal to start drills in Block 6 ‘soon’

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.


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