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Decisive year for Cyprus’ energy plans, foreign minister says

Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides

This year will be decisive for Cyprus’ energy plans and the government is looking forward to acting as a bridge between the countries in the region and the EU, Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides was quoted as saying on Sunday.

In an interview with the Greek newspaper Kathimerini, Christodoulides said he believes that Turkey’s recent destabilising behavior in Cyprus and the Aegean might serve the pre-election needs of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and that it was likely that after the June elections in Turkey, there would be a reduction in tensions.

In the meantime, Cyprus’ energy plans were continuing, he said, stressing that the government was in constant consultations with both Italian energy giants ENI and with Egypt, Israel, the US, France and Italy.

“Cyprus is in an area that is of great importance for the EU and, more generally, for the international system. This offers opportunities and challenges,” he said, answering a question about the role of Cyprus in the geopolitical and energy developments of the region.

With regard to the forthcoming Cyprus-Greece-Israel Tripartite summit scheduled for May 8 in Nicosia, Christodoulides said the aim was to broaden cooperation, and in particular to discuss issues relating to prospects for the EastMed pipeline.

On the Cyprus issue, Christodoulides said that following the failure in Crans-Montana, Cyprus must “make the most of the fact that the essence of the Cyprus issue was highlighted, that security and guarantees were discussed for the first time, and all with the active participation of the EU.

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