World Bulletin / News Desk
Natural gas discoveries in Cyprus could be the key to successful peace talks on the island, the president of the Republic of Northern Cyprus, Dervis Eroglu, said on Thursday.
“Energy sources are important factors defining the foreign policies of world nations,” Eroglu said during a speech at the Near East University "Energy Workshop" in northern Cyprus's capital Lefkosa.
Underlining that energy has also been a negative factor in sparking conflicts and competition among countries, Eroglu said the gas fields discovered off the southern coast of Cyprus are of particular concern to Turkey, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Greece.
In late 2011, the American oil company Noble Energy found reserves between 142 and 227 billion cubic meters in Cyprus Block 12, Aphrodite Field, within the scope of its operations in Israeli waters. After the discovery of such a significant volume of reserves, the Greek Cypriot administration declared it would start drilling, in cooperation with Israel.
Turkey warned the Greek Cypriot administration against any unilateral moves to extract natural gas and oil reserves off Cyprus, claiming that the Turkish Cypriots also have a claim on the reserves.
“Extraction, transportation and trade of the gas findings are the main matters at debate and Turkish Cypriots are partners to these resources in Cyprus offshores,” Eroglu said.
He added that U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s visit last month has brought renewed impetus to peace talks on the divided island.Last Mod: 20 Haziran 2014, 10:04