US to participate in East Med energy summit

US to participate in East Med energy summit

The United States will join Cyprus, Greece, Israel and Egypt at a summit on July 29 to discuss East Med energy cooperation.

At an Economist conference in Greece it was announced that United States Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Frances Fannon will participate in the East Med energy summit in Athens, if diplomatic schedule allows, along with the energy ministers from Cyprus Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, Greece's Costis Hatzidakis and Israel's Yuval Steinitz.

The Greek energy minister underlined the importance placed by the new government on the Eastern Mediterranean energy issues. The first step of discussions will take place on the weekend of July 24-25 at the East Med Gas Forum to be held in Cairo. This forum will include delegates from Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, Italy and the Palestinian authority.

Lakkotrypis said that it is important that “Ankara accepts to start the discussions on demarcation of maritime zones parallel to the process of resolving the Cyprus problem.”

Responding to a question on how Turkey could participate in the energy project of the Eastern Mediterranean, Lakkotrypis said that it is the hope of all seven countries of the East Med project that Turkey becomes part of the solution rather than the problem, “however we must focus our attention on the problems created by Ankara's provocative attitude that has been intensifying lately.”

Lakkotrypis also referred to the latest discovery by Exxon in Bloc 10 as well as the nine drillings that have been scheduled expressing the view of the importance of the cooperation achieved through the East Med initiative. [Kathimerini Cyprus]

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