By Kyriacos Kyriacou – Nicosia
Minister of Energy Giorgos Lakkotrypis said on Thursday that a tripartite ministerial meeting between Cyprus, Greece and Egypt on energy issues will take place at a later stage, in the framework of the cooperation which has begun between the three countries.
In statements after a meeting with a delegation of the European Party (EUROKO), Lakkotrypis noted that the tripartite ministerial meeting will be determined at a later stage and will address issues that will be discussed during the high level meeting of the heads of state and government of the three countries in Cairo on 8 and 9 November.
“We are at the stage of preparing one more ministerial tripartite meeting on energy matters to discuss the issues we will implement which were addressed yesterday (at a meeting in Nicosia between the three Ministers of Foreign Affairs) and which will be also discussed next week in Cairo between the heads of state and government and later on between the Energy Ministers of the three states”, he said.
“This”, he went on to add, demonstrates how deep this relation is, between the three countries.
Moreover, he invited other countries in the region to participate in the effort, noting that the hydrocarbons of the Eastern Mediterranean can become a source of stability and peace and not a source of conflict.
As regards the exploratory activities at the `Onasagoras` block in Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone, the Minister said that the plan continues despite the Turkish provocative actions in the area.
“We are within the time-frame we have set and we are determined to continue, despite provocations”, he stressed.
Turkish seismic exploration vessel `Barbaros` entered illegally Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) this month. The move comes a few days after Turkey issued a maritime order (NAVTEX) for the area. This prompted Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades to suspend his participation in the UN backed negotiations which aim to reunify the island under a federal roof.
Consortium ENI/KOGAS has been awarded exploration licenses in Cyprus` EEZ, namely in Blocks 2,3 and 9. ENI completed 2 seismic surveys, and is planning to drill 6 wells in the coming 18 months.
Yesterday, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, Greece and Egypt, Ioannis Kasoulides, Evangelos Venizelos and Sameh Hassan Shoukry respectively, called on Turkey to terminate all unauthorised seismic operations in Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone and refrain from any similar activity in the future.
The three Ministers met on Wednesday in Nicosia and, according to Kasoulides, called on all countries to respect Cyprus` sovereign rights.