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Egyptian Minister: Cyprus has chance to find oil and natural gas
2005-07-19 11:28:27

Nicosia, Jul 19 (CNA) -- Cyprus has a very good chance to find oil and natural gas, Egyptian Minister of Petroleum Amin Sameh Samir Fahmy said here today, reassuring that his country would assist Cyprus in its efforts to utilize its reserves.

''Cyprus has very good chance to find oil and gas and we are not going to end this cooperation unless we make sure that Cyprus enjoys really the utilization of gas and oil from Cyprus off shore or on shore facilities'', Egyptian Minister stressed, after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on energy matters, with his Cypriot counterpart Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Giorgos Lillikas.

Egyptian Minister, who is paying Cyprus an official visit, was received later on by Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos. He also had a meeting with President of the House of Representatives Demetris Christofias, who expressed his gratitude to the government of Egypt ''for the long support and solidarity towards the Cyprus people for a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem''.

After the meeting with visiting Minister, Lillikas said that both countries have already signed in the past an agreement regarding their exclusive economic zone and added that Egypt has started exploiting its territorial waters regarding oil and natural gas resources.

He added that Egypt is offering Cyprus its expertise on the matter and expressed his gratitude towards the government of Egypt for its help.

''The agreement we signed today is very important, since we will cooperate with a friendly country to Cyprus that is willing to give us its experiences and cooperate with us in all aspects concerning oil and natural gas'', Lillikas said.

The Egyptian Minister noted that the MOU will soon come into force since ''it opens new horizons of cooperation between both countries''.

He added that his country has already started exporting natural gas and oil and said that this issue as well as the export to the Cyprus market, have been discussed during today's meeting.

Both Ministers referred to the excellent political relations between the two countries and added that they would continue their efforts so that those relations are enlarged to other sectors, such as the economy.

''We had a fruitful and constructive discussion and we have signed a protocol of cooperation, which covers various sectors in the energy field between both countries. I am sure that more agreements will follow'', Lillikas said.

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