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Cyprus to work with Israel over exploitation of Aphrodite gas field

Kyriacos Koushios

Cyprus will send a proposal for the exploitation of the Aphrodite natural gas field in the coming weeks to Israel, government spokesman Kyriacos Koushios said on Saturday.

Speaking on the sidelines of an event for a special needs schools in Alassa, Koushios commented on the signing of the EastMed pipeline agreement on Thursday, saying the government met with Israeli representatives and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the exploitation of the Aphrodite field.

“In the next two to three weeks, our side will send a proposal to the energy ministry of Israel, and we believe that there will be no problems for the exploitation of the Aphrodite field,” he said.

Commenting on statements made by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, who regards the pipeline agreement as a step back in restarting peace talks, Koushios said the agreement does not go against anybody, “but could instead aid in stability and peace in the area”.

He added countries wishing to join in on the EastMed agreement are welcome, something the leaders who signed the agreement noted.

Regarding what further developments are expected in the energy sector, Koushios said: “As Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis has indicated, new drilling is expected in the coming months. In the first half of the year, we will have some results that we will announce immediately.”

Commenting on developments in the Middle East, following the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s prominent military commander and architect of its growing influence in the Middle East, Koushios said no retaliation was expected in Cyprus, but that police have increased their presence outside areas “which are in the interest of other countries, and potential targets of retaliation”.

 

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