The development of the Aphrodite gas field is proceeding as planned; as for the special agreement with Israel, there is an institutionalized process which has been followed for a long time now, and will continue to be followed, Cyprus’ Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis stated tonight.
In his remarks to reporters attending the CCCI General Assembly at the Philoxenia Convention Center, when asked about the Government’s position following reports and the announcement by the Israeli Embassy in Cyprus, the Energy Minister stressed that “first of all, as it is noted by the announcement by the Israeli Embassy in Cyprus, what is stated is the position of the Israeli side as reflected in the negotiations that have been going on for some time now.
From our point of view, I would like to say, first, that the development of the Aphrodite gas field is proceeding as planned; secondly, regarding the special agreement with Israel, there is an institutionalized process which has been in place for some time and will continue to be followed.
Yet the most important thing I want to emphasize is that these two things, namely the development of ‘Aphrodite’ and the institutionalized procedure for a special agreement, are not related, as far as the Cypriot side is concerned”.
Asked whether there would be any complications with regard to the companies, the Minister responded that “as far as companies are concerned, the subject of this special agreement has been known for a long time and yet it will be put forward, in order for the agreements to be concluded in November, which you have already seen. Certainly, Cyprus would prefer for this framework to exist in order to govern the operation, but I must stress that it is not a prerequisite for the development to proceed.
In a question regarding whether there was any intention that led to this reference, George Lakkotrypis said that “as the Israeli Embassy’s announcement states, this is the position of the Israeli side. It is not a position adopted by the Republic of Cyprus. Thus, our position is clear and it is illustrated as follows: agreement or no agreement, if it is proved that there is natural gas coming out of Israel and is drawn from our side, the Republic of Cyprus will of course compensate the Israeli side accordingly. There is no way, either with or without an agreement, that anybody will be deprived of their rights, or that we will be deprived of ours”.
In a question about a timetable being in force, the Energy Minister stressed that “this is an ongoing institutionalized process; the positions of each side are being exchanged and our positions will be conveyed again very soon”. /ibna