Friday, February 3, 2017

Stalled Cyprus unity talks catalyst, not deal breaker - NEW EUROPE

Cyprus’ Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis (L) signs an agreement
on the transfer of natural gas through a direct undersea pipeline
from Cyprus' EEZ towards Egypt, in Nicosia, Cyprus, August 31, 2016.
Lakkotrypis told New Europe on February 1, 2017, that exports
from Cyprus’ Aphrodite field are planned for Egypt.
FEBRUARY 3, 2017, 21:46 
Kostis Geropoulos

ATHENS – Cyprus hopes the new US Administration of Donald Trump will continue supporting the strategic interests of Nicosia and Washington in East Mediterranean, Cyprus’ Energy Minister told New Europe.

Nicosia and Washington share common strategic interests, Cyprus’ Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said on the sidelines of the Athens Energy Forum on February 1.

“We have a very close relationship with the State Department. We’re very close and we look forward to the see the new Administration and to start discussions. I’m sure they will be briefed. I cannot comment on that because we haven’t see yet who our counterparts in the US will be,” Lakkotrypis said.

He said that Cyprus could help boost the EU’s energy security and play a role in the EU Energy Union. “We’re discussing with the European Union a number of projects of common interest that will help us to ship the gas from Cyprus to Europe, involving Israel, involving Egypt, involving, of course, Greece, which is another member state,” Cyprus’ Energy Minister said.

Lakkotrypis said if there was not a solution to the Cyprus problem, “it would make things more difficult, but it is not going to stop us. It hasn’t stopped us since 2013. There is no doubt that having Turkey as an additional option as a consumer or as a transit country will be a huge plus in everything that we do, but if it doesn’t, we have other options as well”.