Cyprus intensifies gas talks with Egypt and Syria

Feb 15, 2002 01:00 AM

Cyprus is intensifying its discussions with Egypt and Syria for the supply of natural gas to the island country in the Mediterranean. Cyprus' Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis will visit Cairo in March for discussion with Egypt on the issue.

Rolandis discussed the issue in Nicosia at a meeting with Egyptian ambassador Omar Metwally. The meeting took place only two days after Rolandis returned from his visit to Syria, where he attended a tripartite discussion with energy ministers of Egypt and Syria.
Metwally announced that the Egyptian energy minister will visit Damascus in early March and then fly on to Cyprus to discuss the issue of natural gas planned to be conveyed to this east Mediterranean island nation through an underwater pipeline from Syria, a project to be carried out with the contribution of Egypt. The next tripartite ministerial meeting on energy issue will be held in Cairo in the latter part of March this year.

Another option for Cyprus is to bring LNG by special tankers to a terminal in the island. According to Rolandis, whether Cyprus proceed with the pipeline or the tanker solution, the island will need 3-4 years to built the necessary infrastructure, therefore final decisions must be made by September this year.
Rolandis also received Israeli ambassador to Nicosia Michael Eligal and for the first time the issue of oil and gas reserves was touched upon between the two countries.

Satellite pictures give positive indications about the existence of oil and gas deposits around Cyprus. Cyprus has expressed that it will also seek to discuss the energy issue with other countries in the region, including Lebanon and Libya.

Source: Xinhua
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