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Mayor of London Talks Gas with Commerce Minister

david wooton cyprusLord Mayor of London David Wootton is in Cyprus for talks with Minister of Commerce Neoklis Sylikiotis on the issue of energy and the gas discoveries in Cyprus' Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ).

Wootton also met with President Demetris Christofias, Minister of Finance Vasos Sharlys, and the Under Secretary for EU Affairs Andreas Mavroyiannis.

Cyprus  is in the middle of a second round of licensing for offshore hydrocarbon exploration rights, and is being courted by a number of EU countries, including France, Germany and the UK, all of which have a powerful interest in the burgeoning hydrocarbon industry in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Wootton said he also talked with the president about the island's upcoming EU presidency which starts on July 1st and that his meeting with Christofias was fruitful as the president set out his thoughts about the rotating presidency and its importance to Cyprus.

Jobs and growth is a common agenda across the world, and Wooton said he believes that Cyprus' EU presidency will follow that line.

The issue is a controversial one, with Turkey threatening to boycott its EU negotiation talks for the six months that Cyprus holds the EU's rotating presidency. Turkey does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus, and only recognises the unilaterally-declared Turkish-Cypriot state 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus'. This has brought Ankara's EU membership negotiations to a slow crawl because it is part of the EU's rules that each member state must recognise all the other members.

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