Cyprus and Lebanon discuss delineation of sea area

Mar 05, 2002 01:00 AM

Cyprus and Lebanon discussed marking out exclusive economic zones in the eastern Mediterranean Sea in a first step toward tapping gas and oil deposits offshore Cyprus, officials said. Lebanese Electricity and Water Resources Minister Mohammad Abdel Hamid Baydoun and Cypriot Commerce Minister Nicos Rolandis met to discuss the joint exploration of oil and gas reserves.

The east coast of the island of Cyprus lies only some 160 km (100 miles) northwest of the Lebanese coast. Rolandis said he hoped the two countries would sign an agreement within the next three months on exploiting submarine oil deposits.
First there must be agreement delineating the two countries' exclusive economic zones. "These are very important talks because a large part of our sea area is close to Lebanon," Rolandis told. "Our aim is to discover which part of the sea borders our exclusion zone." Rolandis described their meeting as "positive".

Cyprus is also in close talks with Egypt and Syria for joint cooperation in tapping lucrative energy resources beneath the east Mediterranean. Last August, Cyprus said it had evidence of large offshore gas and oil deposits and was in the process of delineating its continental shelf to ward off encroachment.

Source: AFP
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