Cyprus Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said natural gas could go to Europe through Turkey, but only if expert studies concur and there is a solution to the Cyprus problem.
The Minister spoke to Turkish newspaper Milliyet, where he highlighted the huge potential role that Cyprus could play in the Eastern Mediterranean if problems in the region are put to rest.
Turkey needs partners and cooperation in the region, said the Minister, adding that Cyprus could become an island of peace and stability.
Lakkotrypis also said hydrocarbon exploration will eventually continue and he hoped that production could take place as early as 2018 or 2020, and spoke on the positive aspects of finding a Cyprus solution.
Lakkotrypis went on to say that natural gas deposits located off the coast of Cyprus can supply the island with electricity for the next 200 years.
Lakkotrypis admitted that the government did not get the expected results it was hoping for from hydrocarbon exploration, while ENI was asking for more time to evaluate the situation. But exploration will continue in the future, he said.
He also spoke on the huge potential tourism market in Turkey. “We shouldn’t focus only on energy issues. Tourism is also important. Turkey has 80 million people and this could turn the island into paradise” said Lakkotrypis.
The Turkish newspaper included additional commentary next to the Minister’s feature article. Among those comments, was a plea by Turkish Cypriots to act in unison with Greek Cypriots on the issue of energy.
Lakkotrypis made an open call to meet Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız, whom he described as a “good Minister”.