An Egyptian trade delegation will visit Cyprus next week in a move to boost bilateral relations that may include discussions on possible joint oil exploration, Egypt's ambassador to Cyprus said Tuesday, June 19.
"The focus will be on strengthening trade relations and covering all aspects in general," Omar Metwally told reporters. Both countries are tight-lipped over joint oil exploration in the eastern Mediterranean, but Metwally said this being on the agenda could "not be ruled out".
The Cypriot government has gone on the record as saying it has discussed the idea of exploring and exploiting oil and natural gas deposits off its coast with Egypt. However, the government will not reveal how far it has gone toward tapping or finding quantities of oil and gas deposits.
Earlier this year, the local media said the government had evidence of large oil and gas deposits located between Israel, Cyprus and Egypt. Reportedly, the prospect of huge oil reserves has prompted the government to seek delineation of its continental shelf to ward off neighbouring countries encroaching on rich pickings.
A joint Cyprus-Egypt committee—involving some 20 Egyptian businessmen—for exploring commerce and trade ties will meet in Nicosia June 25-29. — (AFP)
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