Ministers agree wording of EEZ deal with Lebanon. Cyprus announces contribution to reconstruction of country.
THE Council of Ministers has approved the text of the agreement with Lebanon delimiting the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) between the two countries and laying the legal framework for offshore activity in the area.
The Foreign Ministry has already sent the bill to parliament for ratification, following which the exchange of instruments will take place putting the agreement into effect.
Lebanon is the second neighboring country to delimit its EEZ with Cyprus after Egypt. Lebanon has already contracted out offshore blocks with promising results opposite those of Cyprus, which will be included in the island’s second licensing round.
Meanwhile, at a special ceremony in Nicosia this week the Cyprus government announced its main contribution to the reconstruction of Lebanon following the extensive damage it sustained during the armed hostilities between Israel and the Hezbollah.
Cyprus has selected to participate in the project “Good Governance for Enhanced Post-War reconstruction: An Integrated Approach to Respond to Recovery in Southern Lebanon” with a donation of έ500,000.
The έ1.5m project is being implemented by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN Habitat, and co-funded, in addition to Cyprus, by The Netherlands, Lebanon itself and UN Habitat.
It aims at responding to immediate housing needs, the proper planning and implementation of a long-term reconstruction process and enabling municipal authorities to respond to reconstruction challenges.
Foreign Ministry Permanent Secretary Alexandros Zenon said that the Cypriot contribution will be effected in two installments of 250,000 each for 2007 and 2008 and will include a contribution of έ170,000 pledged during the Paris III Conference for the reconstruction of Lebanon.
Handing the verbal note to the Lebanese Ambassador Michel El Khouri, Zenon said that this is the largest contribution ever made by the Republic of Cyprus’ service for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid and constitutes a concrete proof of the feelings of friendship, respect and mutual support that have always linked Cyprus and Lebanon.
Besides its huge effort to relieve foreign and Lebanese nationals during the actual crisis, Cyprus has already made another financial contribution amounting to $100,000.