Cypriot Speaker Urges Reinforcement of Bilateral Ties with Lebanonإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
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.