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Israel defends energy exploration deal with Cyprus

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Israel defends energy exploration deal with Cyprus

Israel is defending against Turkish interference a recent deal it made with Cyprus to delineate an exclusive economic zone in the eastern Mediterranean in light of recent discoveries of huge offshore natural gas deposits under the seabed. "This agreement is an issue between Israel and Cyprus and it in no way affects a third country," Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP in response to reports that Turkey is trying to become a party to the agreement. Cyprus has already concluded similar agreements with Egypt and Lebanon. Israel is now seeking to develop the drilling infrastructure to recover the lucrative gas deposits off Haifa, which estimates indicate will meet Israel’s energy needs for decades and even make the country an energy exporter. Lebanon and Hizbullah have both insisted the gas deposits are in Lebanese territorial waters, a claim Jerusalem has denied.

 

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