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Cyprus' Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Mr Yiorgos Lakkotrypis visited New York on Thursday, September 12 where he had a series of contacts and meetings with organizations and companies dealing with energy issues, think tanks based in New York, officials of the state of New York, expatriate journalists and American media dealing with energy issues.
On Thursday night in Manhattan, Mr Lakkotrypis spoke as an official guest of four expatriate organizations. In his speech the Minister referred to his contacts with the American government in Washington and with his U.S. counterpart Ernest Moniz, and he expressed his complete satisfaction with the degree of interest that has been demonstrated by his interlocutors in Washington. Cyprus, he said, has a vision to become an energy hub in the Eastern Mediterranean and contribute to the geopolitical stability and economic development of the region. He pointed out that geography, which was previously a disadvantage for Cyprus, is now what changes the rules of the game and is the main advantage for Cyprus at the moment. He also referred to the efforts for cooperation with the Israeli government in the exploitation of natural gas.
To a question put by the audience whether the Republic of Cyprus has a plan B for economic recovery if the developments in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean or Turkey do not allow the implementation of the program of hydrocarbon exploitation, the Minister replied that the recovery cannot depend from the exploitation of natural gas but the Cypriot government is doing what is possible and what is needed for economic recovery, focusing its attention on the revitalization of tourism and on strengthening the services sector.
Regarding Turkey, he emphasized that the exploitation of natural gas does not correlate with the talks to solve the Cyprus problem, which are expected to begin next October, because then it would be as putting Cyprus as Turkey’s hostage for 39 more years. Government
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