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Thursday, 3 May 2018

Cyprus, Israel look to settle territorial dispute over Aphrodite gas field, approve Egypt’s LNG pipeline

Cyprus, Israel look to settle territorial dispute over Aphrodite gas field, possibly clearing last barrier to pipeline connecting Aphrodite to Egypt: Cyprus and Israel are looking to settle their ongoing dispute over their respective maritime borders and how much of the Aphrodite gas field in the eastern Mediterranean falls in Israeli territory, the Associated Press reports. Companies with a stake in the field are expected to sit down with Israeli energy firms to reach a solution, and an expert “will be called in to arbitrate” if all else fails, according to Cypriot Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis. The dispute appears to be the final hurdle to overcome before Cairo and Nicosia can sign the agreement to establish a pipeline connecting the Aphrodite field to Egypt’s LNG facilities, which requires Israel’s approval.

Meanwhile, Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus are set to hold a trilateral summit in Athens this fall to discuss energy cooperation, Ittihadiya spokesperson Bassam Rady said yesterday. Egypt and the EU had signed an MoU on energy cooperation last week that will see the two sides work together to help Egypt realize its goal of becoming a regional hub for LNG exports. Egypt could also receive as much as EUR 3.8 bn in funding for energy funding, EU Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said at the time.

This comes as direct flights between Cairo and Cyprus’ Larnaca are expected to resume in October after an eight-year hiatus, former Egypt Tourism Federation Chairman Elhamy El Zayat said, Al Shorouk reports. The four weekly flights will be operated by Cyprus Airways. Cyprus is also planning to operate four weekly flights between Alexandria and Paphos within nine months, Al Masry Al Youm reports.

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