Cyprus urges Turkey to be re­gional en­ergy part­ner

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - CYPRUS -

Cyprus has called on Turkey to join the en­ergy al­liance of neigh­bour­ing states in the East­ern Mediter­ranean or risk miss­ing out.

“We con­tinue to up­grade our en­ergy co­op­er­a­tion with coun­tries in the east­ern Mediter­ranean and in Eu­rope and cer­tainly, I un­der­score this, with Turkey in the event of a Cyprus set­tle­ment,” Anas­tasi­ades told The Econ­o­mist summit in Ni­cosia on Fri­day.

For­eign Min­is­ter Ni­cos Christodoulides said Turkey’s threats against Cyprus’ en­ergy search won’t draw Ni­cosia into a dis­cus­sion dis­put­ing its sov­er­eign rights. He called on Turkey to ne­go­ti­ate the de­mar­ca­tion of the two coun­tries’ sea bor­ders.

“We want Turkey to be part of this co­op­er­a­tion, we pre­fer to have ex­cel­lent re­la­tions with our neigh­bours, but it’s up to Turkey ...The prob­lem in the re­gion is Turkey,” Christodoulides said.

Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades said Cyprus has up­graded the al­ready close ties it has his­tor­i­cally had with all its neigh­bour­ing coun­tries, by es­tab­lish­ing tri­lat­eral mech­a­nisms in co­op­er­a­tion with Greece, Is­rael, Egypt, Jor­dan, Le­banon, Pales­tine and by im­prov­ing re­la­tions with coun­tries of the Gulf.

“Co-op­er­a­tion mech­a­nisms that have proven to be par­tic­u­larly suc­cess­ful, with tan­gi­ble and sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits to the part­ner coun­tries, have re­sulted in in­ter­est from both EU coun­tries, and the Arab world, for par­tic­i­pa­tion and ex­ten­sion of the co­op­er­a­tion mech­a­nisms,” said Anas­tasi­ades.

He said that the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a mul­ti­di­men­sional for­eign pol­icy cou­pled with the coun­try’s dy­namic devel­op­ment prospects have helped to en­sure that Cyprus is now a highly reli­able part­ner both in the wider re­gion and within the EU, and a sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity pil­lar in the East Med.

“In this con­text, the Repub­lic of Cyprus ac­tively pro­motes the cre­ation of the East Mediter­ranean Nat­u­ral Gas High­way which, through al­ter­na­tive gas trans­porta­tion, will link Cyprus newly found re­serves and those of the broader East­ern Mediter­ranean, with the coun­tries of the re­gion as well as with the EU.”

Anas­tasi­ades stressed that Cyprus has friendly re­la­tions with all its neigh­bours – “with the one sole ex­cep­tion (Turkey) that we hope in the near fu­ture will de­cide not to be the ex­cep­tion any more”.

Re­fer­ring to the EastMed pipe­line, Anas­tasi­ades said: “The main ob­jec­tive of the pro­ject is to pro­vide yet an­other op­tion for the com­mer­cial ex­ploita­tion of re­cent and fu­ture gas dis­cov­er­ies in the East­ern Mediter­ranean, for the ben­e­fit of both the re­gion and the Eu­ro­pean Union”.

“We are pro­mot­ing the con­struc­tion of i mpor­tant in­fras­truc­ture projects aimed at end­ing the en­ergy iso­la­tion of the Repub­lic of Cyprus. Among them are the elec­tri­cal in­ter­con­nec­tion of Cyprus, Greece and Is­rael, the EuroAsia In­ter­con­nec­tor, but more re­cently the pro­posed elec­tri­cal in­ter­con­nec­tion of Cyprus with Greece and Egypt, the EuroAfrica In­ter­con­nec­tor.”

In state­ments at the Tri­lat­eral Summit in Crete last month, Anas­tasi­ades said that “an im­por­tant el­e­ment which will be­come one more con­nect­ing link in our re­la­tions, be­yond the EastMed, is also the EuroAfrica In­ter­con­nec­tor which will give the op­por­tu­nity so that there is suf­fi­cient elec­tric­ity, if and when any dif­fi­culty is iden­ti­fied be­tween our coun­tries, and also the Eu­ro­pean Union, giv­ing thus a dif­fer­ent di­men­sion to the dy­namic of our coun­tries.”

He had been re­spond­ing to sim­i­lar state­ments by Greek Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras and the Pres­i­dent of Egypt, with Ab­del Fat­tah al Sisi elab­o­rat­ing that “we noted the need to co­op­er­ate even fur­ther in the area of en­ergy, in the sec­tor of elec­tric­ity and other ar­eas.”

At the Econ­o­mist summit, US Con­gress­man Gus Bili­rakis said that Cyprus is not only se­cur­ing its own re­sources but is be­com­ing a cru­cial en­ergy hub for Eu­ro­pean mar­kets and for Mid­dle East coun­tries such as Egypt and Jor­dan.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Cyprus

© PressReader. All rights reserved.