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Qatar explores gas, port and Gaza aid deals with Cyprus

President Nicos Christodoulides and Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the ceremony to welcome the emir to Cyprus this week Reuters
President Nicos Christodoulides and Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the ceremony to welcome the emir to Cyprus this week
  • Qatar’s emir on Cyprus visit
  • Expanding oil and gas exploration
  • Cyprus targetting clean energy

Qatar is looking at investing in ports, banking and energy in Cyprus, including expanding its ExxonMobil partnership in oil and gas exploration, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the emir of Qatar, visited the Mediterranean country this week and held talks on investment issues with Cypriot president Nikos Christodoulides.

Trade between the two countries surged fivefold between 2022 and 2023 to nearly $55 million.

George Papanastasiou, the Cypriot minister of energy, commerce and industry, said QatarEnergy has a 40 percent share in the oil and gas exploration Blocks 5 and 10 off the coast of Cyprus, in partnership with ExxonMobil.

He said it could help Cyprus develop its clean energy sector, especially solar power.

“Further cooperation could be explored for the Great Sea Interconnection project,” he told the Qatar News Agency ahead of the visit.

“This is a project that is expected to terminate Cyprus’ energy isolation, increase energy security in the Eastern Mediterranean and encourage the development and export of clean energy to Cyprus, Greece and the rest of the EU.”

Another topic of discussion during the state visit was developing a maritime aid corridor that could ferry humanitarian aid from the Cypriot port of Larnaca to the Gaza Strip via a US-built temporary pier in the territory. 

The Cypriot government’s long-term strategic plan, Cyprus Vision 2035, aims to establish the island as a regional base for innovation and technology. 

The island’s GDP rose by 2.4 percent last year, and the European Commission forecasts growth of 2.8 percent and 3 percent over the next two years.

Three sovereign wealth funds from the Gulf were reportedly in discussions to invest in real estate projects in Cyprus, one of the island’s biggest developers told AGBI in March.

“It’s only a question of time that it is going to happen,” said Pantelis Leptos, co-president of the developer Leptos Estates, without giving further details.

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