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Home arrow newsitems arrow French Economy Minister Macron to EuroFora: Egypt-Israel-Cyprus' Gas + East-MED Pipeline= Big Chance

French Economy Minister Macron to EuroFora: Egypt-Israel-Cyprus' Gas + East-MED Pipeline= Big Chance

Written by ACM
Friday, 04 September 2015

*Strasbourg/Palace of Congres+Music (PMC)/Angelo Marcopolo/- After the Latest Giant Gas Field Findings by Italian ENI at Egypt's Sea area, near Cyprus' and Israel's own recent Discoveries and searches, the Project of East-MED Pipeline able to Transport those New Energy Resources Directly towards the entire EU, appears as a "Big Chance" for "all" Countries involved and EU's Energy Supplies, stressed in substance the French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron, in reply to relevant Questions raised by "EuroFora", at the conclusion of a Press Point with Strasbourg's Journalists on the occasion of the Inauguration of 2015 EuroFair earlier Today.


    Egypt's, Israel's and EU Member Cyprus' recently emeging Energy Gas Findings, at South-Eastern Mediterranean Sea, as Close to Europe and able to be Grouped for Direct Transport to EU Countries, could obviously Help Boost much needed  Economic Growth, if the EU seized that Opportunity Fast enough, i.e. with the "Agility" of  which spoke earlier Today  Macron, (See Infra).


    + Topically, this was said in an Exceptionaly Important, Relevant Context : I.e. At the Eve of Macron's Visits to Italy and Israel, from Tomorrow Saturday until Tuesday (6 - 9 September 2015), where he is due to meet Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, from the Neighbouring Big EU Country whose Oil/Gas Company "ENI" has anounced the Discovery of a "Giant" Gas Field in Egypt's Territorial Waters last Sunday (30 August 2015), as well as German Chancelor Angie Merkel's Economic Adviser Lars-Henrik Röller, etc., followed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Ministers of Economy and Energy , Arye Deri and Yuval Steinitz, respectively, but alo an important Israeli Investor, with big Experience in Oil/Gas/Electric Energy matters, included in Peace Negotiations with Neighouring Arab Countries, Yossi Vardi, (See Infra).



    - "You are absolutely Right !", Emmanuel Macron positively responded from the outset to "EuroFora"s initial mention of the Fact that the recent Gas "Energy" Findings in Egypt, Israel and Cyprus could Benefit "the Economy and the Industry" of both the immediately concerned Countries, as well as of France and all the European Union.


    Even more Interesting appeared the French Economy Minister's subsequent Statement in Reply to follow-up Question by "EuroFora", specifically Focusing also on the "East-MED" Gas Pipeline project, whose Study was recently funded by EU Commission, in order to bring the South-Eastern areas New Energy Findings directly into the EU :

    -  "I think that it's a Great Opportunity !", Macron sharply observed in this point, which concerns even more directly France, whose TOTAL Oil/Gas Company has a Bloc in Cyprus' EEZ exactly adjacent to that of Italian ENI, who has just Discouvzered a Giant Gas Field at Neighbouring Egypt.

    - And that goes "For All" Countries involved, (i.e. Egypt, Israel and Cyprus, as Future Profucers, added particularly to Italy but also Greece, as main Pipeline Transit EU Member Countries, etc, as well as most probably France (Comp. Supra, and naturally Germany (as main Industrial European Country), and the rest of EU), he pointed out in Addition.


    - Indeed, "Today, I am present, here, at Strasbourg's EuroFair, for the Economy and Growth : We must all become Sentinels of Growth", he also stressed at this occasion, (while Energy findings are naturaly one of the Key Factors able to Boost Growth).

    + For that purpose, "We (France and all the EU) must be Quick and Ready to Seize New Opportunities", Macron underlined a few minutes earlier in Strasbourg, speaking, as a matter of General Principle, Just a Few Days after Italian Company "ENI" anounced, last Sunday, August 30, that it had succeeed to find a "Giant" Gas Field in Egypt, which could become one of the Biggest in the World.


    => Significantly, it's later this Afternoon, a few Hours after his brief but Topical and Substantial exchange with "EuroFora" around Noon, that the French Economy Minister's Office has just Anounced that, right in the Middle of his forthcoming 3 Days Visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories, he scheduled to have a Long Meeting with the Israeli Minister for Energy and Infrastructures, Yuval Steinitz, during almost 1 Hour, in Jerusalem, on Monday afternoon.

    Meanwhile, immediately after the Official Announcement by ENI of its latest Discoevry of a "Giant" Gas Field in Egypt's Deep Sea, last Sunday, August 30, Macron visited Germany for coordination, and afterwards met with Israel's Ambassador to Paris, on Monday, August 31.

    + Today, his Office also anounced that he will meet and participate in collective events organized on Tuesday, September 9,  together with experienced Israeli High-Tech, Web and Energy Investor Yossi Vardi, who is Now Co-Chair of the Israel - EU Strategic Business Dialogue, won the "Innovation Leadership" Medal awarded by the European Alliance for Innovation, worked as former 1st Director General at the Ministry of Energy, Board Member of Israel's Electric Corporation, Chairman of Oil Explorations Concessions Council and of the National Oil Company, Board Member of Oil Refineries Ltd,  co-Founder of Alon Oil, (etc), and reportedly Headed Economic Negotiations with Jordan, served on Israel - Syria Talks, helped Discover Oil Fields in the Gulf of Suez, advised the World Bank and the U.N. Development Program on Energy and Development,  and led Negotiations on the Oil part in the Peace Agreement with Egypt.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanuahu had already proposed a Pioneer Idea for a possible Transport of Energy from Israel and EU Member Cyprus to the rest of Europe by Transforming Gas Findings into Electricity, transmissible via an UnderSea Cable, during an Official Visit at Nicosia, as early as since 2011.

    On 2014, a First TriPartite Summit between Egypt, Greece and Cyprus, focusing on Energy Findings and Transport, as well as Security, etc. was organized in Cairo, bringing Together the Egyptian President Abdel Al-Sissi, (f) Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, and Cyprus' President Nicos Anastassiades, who adopted and Signed a Joint Strategy Plan. A similar move is being planned, in parallel, between those 3 Countries also with Israel.



    Italian ENI's latest Gas Findings in Egypt's EEZ, as anounced last Sunday (Comp. Supra), point at a "Giant" Field, the Biggest in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the Biggest in the World, nick-named "Zohr", which could hold up to 30 Trillion Cybic Feet of Gas. Added to Israel's earlier "Leviathan" and "Tamar" OffShore Gas Fields, (22 + 10 Tcf, respectively), as well as to Cyprus' previous Finding, at the"Aphrodite" Field, of an estimated 4,5 Tcf of Gas, the current overall Off Shore Potential of the 3 Neighbouring Countries reached, this Week, More than 66,5 TcF in Total !

    + And that's Not all : ENI's latset, "Giant" Discovery in Egypt's "Zohr" Field lays at the "Shorouk" Exploration Block, which is Strikingly Near (in fact almost Entirely Adjacent !) to Cyprus' own Block "No 11", interestingly located Between the Egyptian and Israeli Big "Zohr" and "Leviathan" Gas Findings, as well as close to Cyprus' earlier "Aphrodite" Gas Finding, (See relevant MAPs).... In consequence, it clearly seems now as Highly Probable, if not apparently certain, that Cyprus' Exploration "Block No 11", located Right in the Middle, Between the Egyptian and Israeli Mega-Findings, should also have some very Interesting Gas resources' Findings to make soon...


    Indeed, a strange Suspence concerning that "Block 11" at Cyprus' EEZ (the Closer to Egypt's latest Gas Findings) must now come to an End : It's the French Company "TOTAL" which has got the Exploration Rights in that Block, shortly after "EuroFora"s co-Founder had Spoken about France's possible presence in the emerging South-Eastern Mediterranean Sea Gas Hub Findings with its f. CEO, the experienced Christophe de Margerie, as early as on January 2011, during a Reception at the French Presidential Palace "Elysée" in Paris, with Margerie himself, who had responded to our question Positively, anouncing that he "Knew" that "Gas Findings" were emerging in Cyprus' EEZ, and, therefiore, "France will be present" there, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/killedmargeriekeyforrussiaandcyprusenergy.html). Something which started to become reality, in practice, shortly afterwards, TOTAL getting a Licence from the Cypriot Government, Beginning Explorations and making some Preliminary Findings.


    But, suddenly, less than 1 Year ago, on October 2014, Margerie was ... Brutally Killed, at an Unprecedented and not yet fully Elucidated Air Crash, when his Private Jet's take off, at a Moscow Airport in Russia, was curiously Obstructed by a Maintenance Truck, resulting in a Violent Breakdown and Explosion, which left all Passengers, Pilote included, atrocioudly Dead, in a Strange Violent Incident, on which, Russian and French Investigations are reportedly still Pending, (despite the Arrest of some subalterne agents and the Firing of that Airport's Manager by the Russian Authorities, shocked by such a Drama, shortly after a meeting of Prime Minister Medvedev with Margerie, who was traditionaly a Strong Supporter of Franco-Russian Economic Cooperation, despite the controversial "Sanctions" imposed in the Exceptional Context of the Political Crisis in Ukraine).

    Astonishingly, shortly after Margerie's Killing, the New TOTAL's CEO has anounced that it would "Suspend" its Exploration at Cyprus' Block 11, despite some Initial Gas Findings, that it estimated as Economicaly "Insufficient", at least for the Time being, and taking into account the Oil Prices at that moment, (which were then Lower than Now). Even more Curiously, TOTAL reportedly asked, nevertheless, to examine the possibility to take also another Exclusive Licence for Gas Exploration also of anOther Block in Cyprus' EEZ, over the SeaMount "Eratosthenes"...

    + Moreover, Today, the recent Gas Findings at Israel and Egypt's EEZ ("Leviathan" and "Zhor", respectively), in Blocks which practicaly "Surround" the above mentioned Cyprus EEZ's Block 11 (Comp. Supra), in addition to the pre-existent Cyprus "Aphrodite" initial Gasz Finding, which is also adjacent to that Same Area, should naturaly Re-Launch Now the Interest for a full and comprehensive Exploration of French TOTAL's Block 11 are, (given also the Additional Fact that even the Guiding Oil Prices have, meanwhile, notoriously Risen at Levels which are notably Superior to what they were Last Year : Comp. Supra). The Contrary would be obviously very Suprising, in Today's Context.

    ++ Additionaly, the Fact that most Companies active in that Areas are almost the Same, (f.ex. USA's "Noble Energy" for Cyprus' "Aphrodite" Gas Findings and Israel's "Leviathan" Gas Field, or Italy's "ENI", present both in Egypt, at "Shorouk"'s latest Giant Gas Finding, and in Cyprus, f.ex. at Block 9), naturaly Faciltates things for a possible Joint Operation on the Strategic issue of the Choice of the way(s) to Transport their Gas Findings Directly into Europe.

    +++ Even the Precise Location of ENI's latest "Giant" Gas Finding in Egypt is Helpful for that purpose, since the "Zohr" Field stands Far Away from the Egyptian Coast (+ 200 Km !), but almost at the Same Area as  Cyprus' "Aphrodite" and Israel's "Leviathan" Gas Fields.


    => Thus, just a Month ago, on July 2015, EU Commission anounced its Decision to Fund a Study on the proposed "East-MED" Pipeline project, which offers to Join Together, at an OffShore Gas Liquification Platform, (close to EU Member Cyprus's "Aphrodite" initial Findings), in order to  Transport all the 3 Countries' Future surplus Gas Energy Production Directly towards Europe, through EU Members Greece and Italy, etc (See relevant MAPs).

    Now, with Total Gas Findings in that area already Culminating at above 66,5 Trillion Cubic feets, and probably reaching soon at more than 70 Tfc, (Comp. Supra), while, in parallel, the Economic Climate seems reportedly much Better Today than 1 Year before, (as French Economy Minister Macron observed earlier in Strasbourg), obviously, the Natural Move in order to Help Boost  Growth in the EU is to Timely Seize that Opportunity and Start Building Fast the proposed East-MED Strategic Pipeline, currently the only able to Transport New Energy Supplies DIRECTLY towards Europe, without obliging at all to, previously, Transit through any Other, Foreign Third Country, i.e. Avoiding, ipso facto, the Otherwise Inevitable Risks of Conflicts, (as, f.ex. through Turkey, with the ISIL and/or Kurdish Conflicts, in addition to Seismic Risks, or, at a lesser level, via Ukraine, as long as the Eastern "Autonomist" Regions' Conflict with Kiev has not yet reached a Final Agreed Solution, etc).



    Naturally, the emerging South-Eastern Gas Rasources could also Start to be Produced and Transported Directly to the European Continent, in various Other Ways, (as some MAPs with Diferend Timelines, clearly show), even Before the possible construction of an East-MED Pipeline, simply by adequate merchant Ships, that f.ex. EU Members Cyprus and Greece notoriously have a lot, while both France and Italy, but also Spain, etc., already dispose of several Big Mediterranean Infrastructures with Gas Deliquification equipments, etc.


    For all those reasons, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron's current Visits to Italy and Israel seem, indeed, Timely, particularly in order to Help boost Growth through better and New Energy Supplies in the foreseable Future, if such rare




(NDLR : Fast Translation from the Original in French. + "DraftNews", as already send to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap).


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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.



2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?


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