Oil, Gas, U.S. Drove Cyprus Talks

NICOSIA — Cyprus’ President says an agreement to reunify the ethnically-divided Mediterranean island nation would help ease Turkey’s energy needs.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Nicos Anastasiades says a deal would allow Turkey to be supplied with newly-found Cypriot and Israeli natural gas and contribute to improving relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv.

Anastasiades said that the United States was instrumental in the resumption of stalled peace talks with breakaway Turkish Cypriots and that the growing interest in an accord is grounded in the potential for regional energy cooperation and helping to dampen down instability in a turbulent area.

He says Israel could also export its offshore gas to Turkey through a reunified Cyprus and that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may visit Cyprus in the spring.