Defense Min: Energy Security Key in Bolstered Cyprus-Egypt Ties

Cyprus' defense minister Savvas Angelides, right, talks with his Egyptian counterpart Lt. Gen. Mohamed Ahmed Zak, left, after a meeting with Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades at presidential palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA (AP) — Cyprus’ defense minister says the east Mediterranean island nation and neighbor Egypt are exchanging information to bolster security around an offshore search for natural gas as part of enhanced defense ties.

Savvas Angelides says the two neighbors’ information-sharing extends to countering any extremist threats.

The Cypriot minister says defense ties are also being upgraded between Cyprus, Egypt and Greece as through joint military exercises and personnel exchanges.

Angelides was speaking Wednesday after escorting his counterpart, Lt. Gen. Mohamed Ahmed Zaki, to a meeting with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.

Cyprus and Egypt share a sea border delineating their respective exclusive economic zones where each country is carrying out exploratory gas drilling.

Officials said a recent discovery of Egypt’s Zohr gas field bodes well for more discoveries in Cypriot waters.

Egyptian counterpart Lt. Gen. Mohamed Ahmed Zak leaves the presidential palace after a meeting with Cyprus’ defense minister Savvas Angelides and Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades at presidential palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. Cyprus’ defense minister says the east Mediterranean island nation and neighbor Egypt are exchanging information to bolster security around an offshore search for natural gas as part of enhanced defense ties. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Cyprus’ defense minister Savvas Angelides, right, shakes hands with his Egyptian counterpart Lt. Gen. Mohamed Ahmed Zak, left, after a meeting with Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades at presidential palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. Cyprus’ defense minister says the east Mediterranean island nation and neighbor Egypt are exchanging information to bolster security around an offshore search for natural gas as part of enhanced defense ties. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Cyprus’ defense minister Savvas Angelides, right, talks with his Egyptian counterpart Lt. Gen. Mohamed Ahmed Zak, left, after a meeting with Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades at presidential palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. Cyprus’ defense minister says the east Mediterranean island nation and neighbor Egypt are exchanging information to bolster security around an offshore search for natural gas as part of enhanced defense ties. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

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