President says there is consensus with political parties on TOTAL issue

President says there is consensus with political parties on TOTAL issue

President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has said that there is a consensus between the government and political parties regarding the issue with French energy company TOTAL following its decision to quit its operation in Cyprus` exclusive economic zone.

The President on Monday presided over a meeting with the leaders of the political parties with whom he discussed among others the developments over TOTAL`s decision.

President Anastasiades was asked by journalists whether the French company will remain in Cyprus and will carry on drilling in block 11 of Cyprus` EEZ.

“Above all there is a consensus between the political parties and the government on how we handle the situation regarding the licences that were given to TOTAL. Therefore we will handle the developments accordingly”, he told the press.

Asked whether there is optimism, the President replied “yes”.

Speaking to the press earlier, Attorney General Costas Clerides , who attended the meeting with the political parties, said that there are legal ways that could allow a consensual amendment of the agreement with TOTAL.

He added that the Law Office of the Republic has been in contact with the Energy Ministry for some time now.

“We have exchanged some views and we have given our opinions regarding the issues that have occurred on the contract the company has signed”, he said.

The Attorney General said that his office has given its opinions regarding the suggestions for amendments in the contract adding that there are legal ways and means that could result to a mutual agreed amendment of the contract.

Asked what will the new form of agreement be, he said that this is a political decision and that the Law Office is working on ways to give the political will a legal ground.

Last week reports revealed that the French oil and gas giant, licensed for exploration activities in Cyprus` EEZ blocks 10 and 11, was not able to locate drilling target areas, a fact confirmed later by the Energy Minister.

CNA/AAR/KCH/EPH/2015
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY