NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus' foreign minister says potential offshore gas discoveries could partly fund the cost of reunifying the ethnically divided island as a federation.
Ioannis Kasoulides said Wednesday future gas finds could possibly underwrite funding that would be needed to compensate individuals who — under specific criteria — wouldn't get back properties lost during the 1974 conflict that cleaved the island.
Breakaway Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci made a similar remark in an interview with the AP in April.
Kasoulides said newfound gas would also boost Europe's energy security.
A field off Cyprus is estimated to hold over 4 trillion cubic feet of gas. Kasoulides said two large finds in adjacent Egyptian waters recently has reignited international interest for a mineral search in Cypriot waters.