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 New tripartite meeting in the works with Israel

Government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides

A new trilateral meeting between Cyprus, Greece and Israel is being prepared, Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides has said.

The Cairo meeting, which took place in Egypt at the weekend had paved the way for cooperation with other countries in the region, he said.

President Nicos Anastasiades is due to visit Israel on December 2.

Christodoulides said the tripartite meeting in Cairo was not limited to the three countries (Cyprus, Greece and Egypt), but it paved the way for other states in the region to cooperate and participate either fully or in different sectors.
The preparations were already underway for a new tripartite meeting with Greece and Israel, the spokesman said.
“This is still at an early stage, so when there is something more specific, we will announce it.”

Referring to the Cairo Declaration, signed in Egypt between the Presidents of Egypt and Cyprus and the Prime Minister of Greece, Christodoulides said that the Declaration clarified the way in which the cooperation would function.

The first step, he said, was the meeting of the ministers of energy of the three countries, on November 24.

He also said that Anastasiades held a bilateral meeting with the President of Egypt, and added that in this context, on November 23, the minister of energy of Egypt would visit Cyprus.
Furthermore, he said the President of Egypt accepted an invitation by Anastasiades to visit the island, noting that the visit would take place very soon.
As regards Turkey and its reaction to the Cairo Declaration, Christodoulides recalled that in his statements in Egypt, the President had clarified that the Declaration and the cooperation between the three states was not directed against any other state.

In a message to Ankara, he said the countries in the region cooperate based on international law, on the common goals they have in the region and on the common problems they face “and this is the only way, so this is the message to Turkey for the resolution of the problems in the region”.

The spokesman also recalled that when Turkey began the violation of Cyprus` sovereign rights in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the government of Cyprus had said that Turkish actions did not only disturb Cyprus, but also neighbouring states.

“The Republic of Cyprus has maritime frontiers with the states in the region so, Turkey`s actions can cause problems to those neighbouring countries,” the spokesman said, adding that the Cairo Declaration called on Turkey to terminate its illegal actions in Cyprus` EEZ.

As regards the onshore terminal for natural gas in Cyprus, he said that this remained a strategic choice of the Republic, noting however, that we should wait for the results of the ENI/KOGAS consortium in the `Onasagoras` gas field in order to have a clearer image as to whether the terminal will be a viable choice.
ENI/KOGAS has been awarded exploration licenses in Cyprus` EEZ, namely in Blocks 2,3 and 9. ENI completed two seismic surveys, and is planning to drill six wells in the coming 18 months. (CNA)

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