Cyprus & World News

Cyprus President to talk oil & gas in Israel, no agreement yet

02 May, 2013

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades will be paying an official visit to Israel on the Greek Orthodox Easter Sunday, where he is expected to discuss oil and gas with the political leadership there.

Speaking in Nicosia before his departure, President Anastasiades said that the visit was “one of the most important actions and initiatives undertaken by the government, aiming at upgrading the relationship of Cyprus with its neighbouring country”, Israel.

The aim of the visit, he said, is to start a substantive dialogue, which will lead both countries to the most beneficial cooperation, in various areas. The focus of attention will be on exploiting natural resources and on finding the best way to manage hydrocarbons, he added.

The president will be accompanied by Trade and Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis and will depart on Thursday for a private visit to Jerusalem, to attend Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations.

On Sunday, he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, while on Monday he will visit the Knesset and meet with the President of the House, Yudi Edelstain. Earlier in the day he will lay a wreath at the Yad Vashem holocaust memorial. On Tuesday, after meeting Theophilos III, Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all Palestine, President Shimon Peres will host an official banquet and Anastasiades will then address a Cyprus -Israeli business forum and the University in Tel Aviv.

However, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said earlier this week that “due to technical reasons the joint development and exploitation agreement [with Israel], has not been completed yet. It seems that another two or three meetings at the diplomatic level will be needed. The other agreement concerning the strategy on energy security is at a very initial stage. So, no agreements will be signed in Jerusalem.”

(See also: "Cyprus Editorial" )