Bilateral agreements with Cyprus must be drawn up quickly so that the drilling of exploratory wells near the Cypriot-Lebanese maritime border can begin, Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said Thursday, expressing hope that the countries can collaborate in the oil and gas sector.
His comments came during a news conference following a meeting he and Energy Minister Nada Boustani held with their Cypriot counterparts, Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides and Energy Minister Georgios Lakkotrypis.
Last week, Lebanon launched the second round of its oil and gas exploration, for maritime blocks 1, 2, 5, 8 and 10. Blocks 5 and 8 border Cyprus’ territorial waters, and a source close to the Lebanese Petroleum Administration previously told The Daily Star that Block 5 could potentially contain “cross-border deposits.”
The Cypriot foreign minister, who spoke after Bassil at the conference, said his country “will not participate in any project that violates Lebanon’s rights.”
Cyprus supports Lebanon’s prosperity, Christodoulides said, emphasizing that regional security is dependent on a “strong and secure Lebanon.”
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