Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades will fly to Israel, where he will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamim Netanyahu.
The topics of discussion will be bilateral relations (security, energy, economy), the latest developments in the Cyprus negotiations and regional developments, in particular the recent events in Turkey.
Presidential spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said that both countries will be reviewing previous discussions about possible joint exploration of gas reserves where EEZ borders overlap.
“We are hoping for an outcome as soon as possible,” he added.
Part of the Aphrodite gas field discovered in South Cyprus’ bloc 12 is believed to extend into Israeli waters. That means Israel would need to be included in the development of the reservoir.
However, since the rapprochement between Turkey and Israel, which includes the potential of a pipeline running through Turkey to deliver gas from Israel’s Leviathan field to Europe, the South has remained stone-faced about the prospect.
The pipeline would need to pass through the South’s EEZ, something which the South has said would not be possible without a solution to the Cyprus problem in place first.
Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis who is accompany Anastasiades along with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said:
“Cyprus’ position on the matter is clear. From there on, the relations between other countries [meaning Israel and Turkey] are their own business”.
Although it may object to the proposed pipeline, the South can do nothing to stop the project since, according to international treaties, EEZs are not considered to be sovereign territory.