Cypriot Speaker Urges Reinforcement of Bilateral Ties with Lebanon

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Cypriot Speaker Yiannakis Omirou stressed on Wednesday stressed on importance of cooperation between his country and Lebanon concerning the exploration of offshore natural resources.

“I have discussed with Lebanese officials means of cooperation between our two countries, in particular, the exploration of gas resources in our Exclusive Economic Zones,” Omirou told reporters at the airport before heading back to Cyprus.

The Cypriot speaker had arrived in Lebanon on Monday on a three-day visit where he held talks with President Michel Suleiman, his Lebanese counterpart Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Najib Miqati, Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour, a delegation from the Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc and several other officials.

Asked about his country's stance concerning the dispute between Lebanon and Israel over a zone that consists of about 854 square kilometers where suspected energy reserves there could generate billions of dollars, the speaker said: “Cyprus isn't directly concerned with the matter.”

“We want the matter to be swiftly resolved,” Omirou pointed out.

He told reporters that he proposed to the Lebanese cabinet to exploit the gas situated in the fields shared with Israel.

Lebanon and Israel are bickering over a zone that consists of about 854 square kilometers and suspected energy reserves there could generate billions of dollars.

The cabinet approved in September the proposed borders of Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone in the Mediterranean.

In early November, the cabinet approved the appointment of the six members of the petroleum authority and in June, Lebanon was able to restore 530 square kilometers of a maritime zone that it considers it to be within its zone.

Lebanon has been slow to exploit its maritime resources compared with other eastern Mediterranean countries. Israel, Cyprus and Turkey are all much more advanced in drilling for oil and gas.

Comments 5
Missing phillipo 05 December 2012, 13:01

The bickering with Israel over the borders of the maritime zone between them is causing the Lebanese authorities tens of millions of $ per year and yet no-one seems to want to be able to raise above the petty fighting and come to an agreement.

Thumb whyaskwhy 05 December 2012, 13:06

Thanks Cyprus...our problems are all but over.

Thumb BritishLebanese 05 December 2012, 13:56

Not sure bickering is a good word, Israel cant steel other peoples land & our own Lebanese brothers call it bickering. Besides tens of millions of $ per year is nothing compared to Justice & what those square kilometers have for the Lebanese people let alone its Politicians & the six bandits.

Missing phillipo 05 December 2012, 14:55

You are probably correct, bickering is the wrong word. The correct one should be "not talking".
What other peoples land is Israel trying to steal? (please note correct spelling - steel is a metal). If you are refering to Lebanon, then surely that is what I was talking about. I'm sure that if the two sides could just sit down and discuss the matter they would quickly reach an agreed solution.
Maybe the larger problem is on the Lebanese side where each political faction would try and make a grab to see how much money they could lay their hands on before it gets to the national economy.

Thumb BritishLebanese 05 December 2012, 13:57

steal lol.