Cyprus Mail

US official says East Med countries, including Cyprus would be regional rather than global energy players

The Eastern Mediterranean region, including Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, “will be able to work together to get to a point of cooperation/collaboration for exploiting their resources”, Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs leading the Bureau of Energy Resources at the US Department of State Amos Hochstein has said.
Addressing the Atlantic Council in Washington on the US energy diplomatic priorities for 2015, Hochstein said: “The Eastern Mediterranean is a critical area, because we believe the new discoveries can be used as a vehicle to increase cooperation, to increase collaboration, to support stability, security and prosperity.”
“It is an opportunity, it is a moment in time, but it doesn’t mean it will necessarily happen,” he added.
Hochstein said all the parties in the region would have to take some rational steps that will overcome some of their tendencies and old conflicts in order to make it happen.
“This is an area that every small change can have a domino effect that will take away the gains,” he said, adding however that he was an optimist and believed solutions could be found.
Hochstein also said that Israel and Cyprus had discovered significant resources, but the most likely scenario was that they would be regional and not global players.
“To that end, I said that I was an optimist and that I believe Israel and Cyprus will be in a position to export to Turkey and to Egypt and to Jordan. I still believe that. If look later in my comments there, we talked about the fact that before that to happen there are some hurdles we have to pass. So, I don’t say it will be tomorrow,” he said.
“One thing that stands between us and a lot of these issues is the use of energy not as tool for cooperation but as a weapon.” (CNA)

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