News Local Government spokesman: Italy now expected to co-sign EastMed agreement

Government spokesman: Italy now expected to co-sign EastMed agreement

After the signing of the intergovernmental agreement on the EastMed pipeline by the Energy Ministers of Cyprus, Greece and Israel, on Thursday in Athens, we expect Italy to co-sign the agreement soon, Government Spokesman Kyriacos Koushos has said.

“The signing of the agreement serves the energy interests of not just the four participating countries, but of Europe as a whole as it provides an alternative solution for uninterrupted gas flow” to the continent, Koushos said. Speaking to CNA, he added that this is something Europe also acknowledges, by funding the pipeline’s feasibility studies.

Asked to comment on Thursday’s report by Greek daily “Kathimerini” saying that the Athens deal included a cooperation clause for the security of EastMed, Koushos said that this is something concerning the pipeline’s seamless operation and nothing else. The issue of how to protect the pipeline will be discussed by committees of the participating countries, he added.

He also pointed to the interest for the pipeline, also by the US, as seen with the recent bill endorsing the “Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act” signed by US President Donald Trump. “Therefore, I believe that there is interest by other countries, apart from those signing the intergovernmental agreement”, the Spokesman said.

Asked about the reaction of the Turkish Foreign Ministry to the signing of the agreement, Koushos said that the leaders of Cyprus, Greece and Israel clearly stated that the agreement is not turning against any third country, while other countries are welcome to participate in this cooperation if they so wish.

Apart from its significance in financial and energy terms, the agreement is also an act of exercising the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, without turning against anyone, he added.

Koushos was also invited to comment on the statements of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, who said that EastMed is not helping in the solution of the Cyprus problem. “As the President of the Republic repeatedly said, our side is ready to engage in the procedures for the resumption of Cyprus settlement talks” on the basis of a bizonal bicommunal federation, he went on.

He said moreover that last November, at the informal meeting with the UN Secretary-General and the Turkish Cypriot leader, in Berlin, President Anastasiades “reconfirmed his willingness to participate in a new round of negotiations and also reconfirmed the basis for a Cyprus solution, saying at the same time that he is ready for an immediate resumption of talks.”

Moreover, the Government Spokesman pointed to statements from the Turkish side, saying that they are not ready to engage in the next stage before the “elections” in the Turkish-occupied areas in Spring. Therefore, we expect that any actions will be taken after Spring and the “election” of the next Turkish Cypriot leader, Koushos added.

Asked about the decision of the Turkish Grand National Assembly to approve the dispatch of troops to Libya, the Spokesman said that the Republic of Cyprus is in favour of peace and stability in the region and deems that similar actions are not conducive to this.

He also referred to a quadrilateral meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Cyprus, Greece, Egypt and France, scheduled to take place in Cairo, where the various issues concerning the region are expected to be discussed, along with energy matters and the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean. The quadrilateral meeting is being prepared by the competent Ministers and announcements will follow, the Spokesman concluded.

(Cyprus News Agency)

Top Stories

310 new cases through PCR tests announced on Friday

The Health Ministry announced 310 new Coronavirus cases out of 6,584 PCR tests on Friday 27 November and another out of 6, 311 rapid...

Health Minister concerned about situation in old people’s homes

Health Minister Konstantinos Ioannou expressed his concern about the COVID-19 cases found in old people’s homes. However, he noted that within the framework of...

NPLs in the Cyprus banking system down by €132 million in July

Non- Performing Loans (NPLs) in the Cyprus banking system dropped by €132 million continuing their downward trajectory, assisted by disposals as well as the...

Health Ministry prepares plan for COVID-19 vaccination

The plan, which will be followed by the Ministry of Health, for vaccination against the coronavirus has already been prepared, said today to CNA...

Cyprus second in EU regarding first residence permits

In 2019, about 3.0 million first residence permits were issued in the EU to non-EU citizens. The number rose by 6% (or 163 000)...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...